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Most Deadly Month for NATO Forces in Afghanistan

June has become the deadliest month for NATO forces in the nine-year war in Afghanistan.

An Associated Press count based on announcements by the alliance and national commands shows 76 international service members have died this month. The total includes 46 Americans.

The previous deadliest month for the multinational force was July 2009, when 75 troops were killed. For the U.S. contingent, the deadliest month was October 2009, when 59 service members were killed.

NATO says eight troops died today. That makes 75 deaths this month, matching the total for July 2009.

Military officials say the eight includes four Americans, two Romanians and a British Marine, who died in combat. Two Italians died in a vehicle accident.

The violence is also hitting Afghans. A provincial police official says a vehicle belonging to a candidate for parliament hit a roadside bomb early today, killing the candidate's brother and wounding the candidate.

Also today, seven private security guards were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that bombing. The guards were providing security for a construction company that was building a road in the area.

Afghan officials said Wednesday that firing Gen. Stanley McChrystal would disrupt progress in the war and could jeopardize a pivotal security operation under way in Taliban strongholds in the south.

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