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January 23, 2013

News Briefs – January 23, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,044

As of Jan. 22, 2012, at least 2,044 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 1,705 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 118 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.

The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is five more than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 18,201 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP

Germany draws line at carrying French ammo to Mali

Germany won’t transport ammunition to help France with its military intervention in Mali.

The Defense Ministry confirmed a report Jan. 21 by Der Spiegel that Germany has a ìred card holderî stationed at a joint airbase in the Netherlands whose job is to make sure French arms aren’t being loaded onto German planes.

The move comes despite German government assurances that it would consider providing ìlogisticalî support to France in its effort to stop the advance of Islamist militants against the Malian government.

Der Spiegel reported that two German military transport planes being dispatched to ferry African soldiers to Mali will, however, carry medical supplies for French troops to the country. AP

France: 1,000 African troops now in Mali

France says there are now about 1,000 African troops in Mali to take part in the military intervention to dislodge Islamic militants from power.

Col. Thierry Burkhard, the French military spokesman, says the soldiers come from Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Niger and Chad.

France has 2,150 forces in Mali, and has received logistical support from Western allies and intelligence from the United States.

But the French ultimately hope that West African soldiers will take the lead alongside Malian troops in securing the country, a former French colony.

Neighboring African countries are expected to contribute around 3,000 troops but concerns about the mission have delayed some from sending their promised troops.

France launched its operation Jan. 11, a day after the Islamists ventured south from their strongholds and seized a town. AP

U.S. begins transporting French troops to Mali

U.S. Africa Command says American planes have begun transporting French troops and equipment in support of the country’s mission in Mali.

Tom Saunders, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany said Jan. 22 that the U.S. Air Force C-17 transport began flights on Jan. 21 from the French base in Istres, France, to Bamako.

He said two flights arrived in Bamako Jan. 21and a third arrived Jan. 22.

Saunders said the missions will operate over the next several days. He said he could not give any details on how many more flights were envisioned for operational security reasons, and referred any questions about how much equipment and how many soldiers were being transported to the French Ministry of Defense. AP




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