Troop Injuries Hit New High in Afghanistan

Taliban roadside bombs highly effective against US
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2009 7:58 AM CDT
U.S. soldiers patrols a road which leads to the site where a road side bomb hit a U.S. vehicle in Mehtar Lam, Laghman province east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Oct.25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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(Newser) – Injuries to US troops in Afghanistan have risen alarmingly in the last 3 months, as a Taliban offensive deploys deadlier roadside bombs aimed at American and other foreign forces. The rate of injury has surpassed that in Iraq during the heaviest fighting of the surge 2 years ago, the Washington Post reports. "It shows you how we are the targets and how effectively they are targeting us," says a Pentagon spokesman.

The IEDs being used by the Taliban are powerful enough to destroy even the Pentagon's most mine-resistant vehicles, prompting Defense Secretary Robert Gates to order thousands more support troops to Afghanistan to hunt and destroy roadside bombs. More than 1,000 troops have been injured in the last 3 months—a quarter of all the injuries sustained since the US-led invasion in 2001.
(Read more Robert Gates stories.)