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Wednesday, Aug 20th

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US military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,199

Afghanisgtan - US war deadAs of Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at least 2,199 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.

The AP count is four less than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

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Saving Iraqis the US left behind

Iraqis left behindAfter the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Hakim, a 49-year-old Sunni Iraqi, helped the U.S. and NATO forces by serving as a guide in Mosul. He enjoyed this work, often traveling with American military units as they went door to door, aiming to win local support. This work financially sustained Hakim and his family, but it put them in danger.

After waiting four years, during which time his house was set afire and his younger brother killed for working as an interpreter and guide, Hakim was finally granted a special immigrant visa and resettled in New York, but without his wife. She still awaits an answer to her application for asylum. Now with renewed calls for military action in Iraq, Hakim worries that his wife will never get out of the country.

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U.S. airstrikes underway in Iraq, destroying Islamic State artillery

US hits ISISThe Pentagon confirmed Friday that the U.S. military has begun "targeted" airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in northern Iraq.

Around 6:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter jets dropped 500 lb. laser-guided bombs on militant artillery used by the IS (also known as ISIS and ISIL). The strike was launched against an unspecified area near the Kurdish capital of Erbil.

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Attack at Afghan base kills US general, wounds 15

Camp QuarghaA U.S. Army major general was killed in an attack at an Afghan military base in Kabul on Tuesday, according to a defense official who asked not to be named.

If confirmed would be the highest ranking American officer to be killed in the war in Afghanistan.  A defense official confirmed the information on the condition he not be named since the family had not been fully notified yet.

Coalition headquarters in Kabul would confirm only that one coalition servicemen was killed in an attack. The coalition headquarters did not detail the circumstances of the attack.

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Ex-Blackwater guard testifies against colleagues

Blackwater IraqA former Blackwater security guard testified Wednesday that he and two colleagues shot their weapons into a car in Nisoor Square in Baghdad, part of a barrage of gunfire that claimed the lives of a mother and her son and led to the shootings of 30 other Iraqis.

In a calm voice, Jeremy Ridgeway told a jury that what started as "just another day at the office" in Baghdad suddenly erupted in fire from automatic weapons aimed at a car moving toward the heavily armored convoy of Blackwater guards.

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Two U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Us soldiers killedTwo U.S. Army soldiers were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, and one died in San Antonio from an illness he contracted in Ghanzi province.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, and Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, died Thursday from an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Prange was from Hickman, Neb., and Williams was from Visalia, Calif.

Both were of the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson in Colorado.

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89 Killed in Suicide Blast in East Afghanistan

Suicide blast East AfghanistanA suicide car bombing in Afghanistan killed at least 89 people Tuesday, with more than 40 people also wounded in the attack in the country’s eastern Paktika province, according to an Afghan general. Meanwhile, in the capital Kabul, a remote control device concealed along a roadside killed two employees of President Hamid Karzai's media office and wounded five, police said.

In Paktika, a suspected militant detonated his explosives-packed vehicle near a crowded market and a mosque in the Urgun district of the province in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

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