Kabul, Afghanistan Five NATO troops including one American died Tuesday, continuing a grim trend that could make June among the deadliest months of the nearly 9-year-old Afghan war.
Five Afghan policemen and a district governor were also killed Tuesday in separate fighting across the country, which has seen an uptick in attacks by insurgents in response to increased offensives by the international coalition.
U.S. officials insisted the Afghan campaign is on track, although they concede that pacifying the insurgent-riddled south will take longer than expected.
Three of the NATO deaths were British — two killed in separate gunfights in southern Helmand province and a third who died in a British hospital from injuries suffered in a firefight Sunday in Helmand, according to the British government.
The American service member was killed in a gunbattle in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials said, and a Polish soldier died in a rocket attack on a base in the eastern province of Ghazni, the Polish military said.
That brought the death toll for the month among the international forces to 44, including 27 Americans.
The NATO-led force suffered a record 75 deaths in July 2009 as U.S. and British troops launched major operations in the Taliban’s southern strongholds.