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Afghanistan War: July Deadliest Month For U.S. Troops

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A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., 20, of Oxnard, Calif., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Defense Department, Rivera, died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
A Marine carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., 20, of Oxnard, Calif., Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Defense Department, Rivera, died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

-- At least 1,961 U.S. service personnel have been killed in Afghanistan over the course of the 11-year war. Casualties rose steadily each year before reaching a peak in 2010 when 492 personnel were killed. There has been a slight decrease in casualties since then, with 398 killed in 2011, and at least 219 so far this year. Even with the downward trend in deaths, however, one U.S. soldier has been killed every day this year on average. July has been the deadliest month of 2012 for U.S. troops, with 40 killed as a result of war-related violence.

Casualties have jumped each year in the summer months, when warm weather makes it easier for insurgents to move around the mountainous country and carry out attacks. The three deadliest months of the war for U.S. troops have been in summer: August 2011, 71 deaths; July 2010, 65 deaths; June 2010, 60 deaths. During the winter, the Taliban and other insurgent groups have tended to bed down to wait out the cold.

In the past two years, there has also been a surge of insider attacks in which Afghans have turned their guns on their international counterparts. NATO says that 34 international service members have been killed in such inside attacks so far this year.

The U.S. started drawing down forces from a peak of nearly 103,000 last year and plans to have decreased to 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by October.

Yearly breakdown of U.S. deaths In Afghanistan since start of the war:

_2001: 3

_2002: 23

_2003: 30

_2004: 49

_2005: 93

_2006: 88

_2007: 110

_2008: 151

_2009: 305

_2010: 492

_2011: 398

_2012: 219

Monthly U.S. death tolls In Afghanistan since January 2010:

_August 2012: 26

_July 2012: 40

_June 2012: 27

_May 2012: 39

_April 2012: 34

_March 2012: 18

_February 2012: 10

_January 2012: 25

_December 2011: 15

_November 2011: 17

_October 2011: 28

_September 2011: 38

_August 2011: 71

_July 2011: 33

_June 2011: 46

_May 2011: 34

_April 2011: 46

_March 2011: 27

_February 2011: 19

_January 2011: 24

_December 2010: 33

_November 2010: 53

_October 2010: 49

_September 2010: 42

_August 2010: 55

_July 2010: 65

_June 2010: 60

_May 2010: 34

_April 2010: 19

_March 2010: 24

_February 2010: 28

_January 2010: 30

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These numbers are based on Department of Defense press releases and include only deaths that occurred from incidents in Afghanistan. Data includes military civilian deaths. It does not include deaths of service personnel from other countries in the U.S.-led coalition. Data is current as of Aug. 16, 2012.