US Troop Deaths at New Low
Fewest troops killed since Iraq war began
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2008 2:09 AM CST
US soldiers take cover from snipers in Baghdad. Fewer soldiers were killed in 2008 in Iraq and Afghanistan than in any of the last five years.   (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)
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(Newser) – The US military lost 467 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, the lowest annual death toll since the Iraq war began in 2003, reports USA Today. But the coming year could be more challenging. Up to 30,000 extra troops are being sent to Afghanistan and upcoming elections are bound to be a flashpoint in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda "will attempt to create violence and uncertainty" in the Iraqi population, said a US commander. "The next 60 days are a critical period."