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This article is provided courtesy of Stars and Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East.

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March Fatality-Free for US Forces in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in more than seven years, the U.S. military just went a full calendar month without suffering any fatalities in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

No American troops died in Afghanistan in March, the first month since January 2007 in which no U.S. servicemembers died in the country as a result of combat or non-combat-related injuries, according to the Defense Department and iCasualties, an independent website that tracks coalition fatalities. March was only the third month since September 2001 in which no Americans in uniform died in Afghanistan, according to DoD. Twelve servicemembers were injured last month, according to the Pentagon.

There were two non-U.S. coalition fatalities in March, according to iCasualties.

August 2011 was the deadliest month of the war for the U.S. thus far, when 71 troops were killed or died from non-combat-related injuries, according to DoD. As of Monday, 2,309 American troops have died in Afghanistan, and nearly 20,000 have been wounded, according to the Pentagon.

An International Security Assistance Force member died in southern Afghanistan from a non-battle-related injury on Tuesday, according to an ISAF press release. The nationality of the servicemember has not been disclosed.

The decreasing fatality rate in Afghanistan comes at a time when the U.S. has been transitioning combat responsibilities from American troops to the Afghan National Security Forces. All U.S. troops will be withdrawn from the country by the end of the year if the Afghan government does not sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would allow a continuing U.S. force presence beyond 2014.

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