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U.S. wounded rate in Afghanistan soars

Jan. 8, 2011 at 7:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. troops wounded in battle in Afghanistan in 2010 more than doubled from the previous year, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper cited reports it obtained from the Pentagon that showed almost 5,500 soldiers were injured in 2010 in the NATO intervention to oust Taliban and al-Qaida insurgents from Afghanistan.

In 2009, 2,415 U.S. soldiers were wounded in action, the report said. The year's death toll for U.S. troops was 430, the newspaper said.

The wounded rate was almost six times higher than 2008, although data indicated advances in emergency care reduced the mortality rate to 7.9 percent last year from 14.3 percent in 2008, the Times said.

Military officials said soldiers were better trained and equipped to deal with injuries.

"This is just basic techniques -- trained well," said Lt. Col. Michael Wirt, brigade surgeon in the 101st Airborne Division.

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