Pentagon: No American military deaths in Afghanistan in March

BY Associated Press  April 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM EDT
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sgt. John Pacarello, a member of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division rests along a ridgeline following a patrol up a mountainside near Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank on March 31 near Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan. The Pentagon reports there were no military deaths in March in Afghanistan. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says there were no U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan in March — the first zero-fatality month there since January 2007.

American casualties in Afghanistan have declined as the number of U.S. forces has grown smaller and their role has shifted away from combat. U.S. troops are focused on training and advising Afghan forces.

The Pentagon says there are about 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a 2011 peak of about 100,000.

The international combat mission is scheduled to end in December; whether a new mission to train Afghans is undertaken in January has yet to be decided.

Pentagon statistics show there were 132 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan in 2013, compared with 313 the year before and 415 in 2011.