Washington Post , December 31, 2009
Jim Heintz of the Associated Press says 2009 was the worst year in terms of US military deaths in Afghanistan. As of December 30, the number had doubled from the previous year from 151 to 304. It did not include the 8 American civilians, including 7 CIA operatives, who were killed by a suicide bomber in Khost Province. The bomber was disguised as an Afghan military officer. The Taliban promptly claimed responsibility for the attack and said the bomber’s name was Samiullah.
For the first time in eight years, the annual death toll among the international forces, including American troops, surpassed 500. It reached 502 compared to 286 in 2008. Britain lost 107 and Canada 32 soldiers. The total losses suffered by all other countries were 59. The AP report came as 30,000 additional troops ordered by President Obama began to arrive in Afghanistan. American officials admitted the insurgency had the momentum and that the death toll was likely to stay high with the arrival of more troops in the country.