Only one U.S. service member was killed in February, but the death toll climbed to at least 14 in March. The recent stabbing reveals the ongoing danger to troops, even as full withdrawal approaches.
Cliff Owen / AP
An Afghan teenager fatally stabbed an American soldier in the neck as he played with children in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, as the U.S. death toll rose sharply last month with an uptick in fighting due to warmer weather.
Last week's calculated attack shows that international troops still face myriad dangers even though they are increasingly taking a back seat in operations with Afghan forces ahead of a full withdrawal by the end of 2014.
Just one U.S. service member was killed in February — a five-year monthly low — but the American death toll climbed to at least 14 in March.
Overall, the number of Americans and other foreign forces killed in Afghanistan has fallen as their role shifts more toward training and advising government troops instead of fighting.
But a series of so-called insider attacks on foreign troops by Afghan forces of insurgents disguised as them has threatened to undermine the trust needed to help President Hamid Karzai's government take the lead in securing the country after more than 11 years at war.
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