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Wednesday
Apr032013

US Death Toll in Afghanistan Jumps in March

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan rose to at least 14 in March after just one recorded fatality a month earlier.

February's single death was the lowest monthly total in five years -- a reflection of American forces taking on more of a supportive role in the fighting, with Afghan soldiers and police incurring most of the casualties.

Pentagon officials said that better spring weather generally boosts violence as the Taliban tends to pull back during the brutal Afghan winters.

Five of the U.S. deaths in March were due to a Black Hawk helicopter crash on March 11 that was not believed to have been caused by the enemy.

In another incident, U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Cable was fatally stabbed last week by a teenage boy as the soldier was playing with children in a supposedly secure area.  So-called insider attacks, when Afghans turned on their coalition allies, have been responsible for many U.S. fatalities over the past year.

The overall death toll of U.S. service personnel in the 11-year-long war is approaching 2,200.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio