U.S. Deaths Fall in Afghanistan

(Dec. 31, 2012) The number of American troops killed this year in Afghanistan fell by more than 25 percent from the total in 2011, according to The Associated Press.

The wire service, which tracks daily casualties and violent attacks, reported Sunday that 295 American troops had died as of Saturday. The total for 2011 was 404.

The Defense Department reports that 1,701 American service members have been killed since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2011 through Dec. 26. That figure includes 338 who died from nonhostile causes.

The Pentagon estimates that 18,154 were wounded in that time.

In all, 394 coalition troops were killed this year, including Americans. That’s down from 543 in 2011 and includes 43 troops from Great Britain, which lost the second most troops in fighting this year, according to AP tallies.

Sixty-one coalition troops were killed in 45 attacks by Afghan security police or army members. That’s up from 35 killed in 21 attacks in 2011.

The number of Afghan troops killed this year is 1,050, which is higher than last year by a significant number, although an exact figure for 2011 was not available to the wire service. About 1,400 Afghan police have been killed since March 21.

The AP figures also show 822 Afghan civilian deaths at the hands of the Taliban and 119 deaths due to NATO actions, including air strikes.

Also, about 3,000 militants have been killed this year by coalition and Afghan forces, down from more than 3,500 the previous year.