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Rising U.S. death toll in Afghanistan from roadside bombs fuels debate for pulling out

KABUL — Roadside bombs — the biggest killer of U.S. soldiers — claimed eight more American lives Tuesday, driving the U.S. death toll to a record level for the third time in four months.

The homemade bombs, also called improvised explosive devices or IEDs, are responsible for between 70 percent and 80 percent of the casualties among U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Both attacks took place in the southern province of Kandahar, said Capt. Adam Weece, a spokesman for American forces.

The Americans were patrolling in armored vehicles when a bomb ripped through one of them, killing seven service members and an Afghan civilian, said Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a U.S. forces spokesman.

The eighth American died in a separate bombing elsewhere in the south, also while patrolling in a military vehicle, Vician said.

The casualties bring to 55 the total number of Americans killed this month in Afghanistan. The next highest toll was in August, when 51 U.S. soldiers died.

Early today, gunmen attacked a guest house used by U.N. staff in Kabul, killing at least seven people including three U.N. staff members, officials said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility, saying it was meant as an assault on the upcoming presidential election.

Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman said some of the dead belonged to the attackers.

Rising U.S. death toll in Afghanistan from roadside bombs fuels debate for pulling out 10/27/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 12:03am]

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