8 American troops killed in 'complex attack' on Afghanistan outpost

Eight American soldiers were killed when Taliban fighters ambushed two remote outposts in eastern Afghanistan in one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. troops since the war began.

"This was a complex attack in a difficult area," said Army Col. Randy George in a statement released Sunday.

The soldiers were preparing to vacate the isolated outposts located in Nuristan province near the Pakistan border when Taliban fighters attacked from positions in the surrounding mountains early Saturday morning.

Nuristan is the province where nine U.S. soldiers were killed when their outpost was overrun by militants in July 2008, prompting an investigation into whether the troops were neglected by senior commanders.

On Friday, two U.S. soldiers, including one from the upstate Fort Drum-based 10th Mountain Division, were killed by a man dressed as an Afghan police officer in Wardak province, south of Kabul.

Three other U.S. troops were killed this month in separate attacks across the country, bringing the October death toll to 13.

Last month, 37 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan.

The deaths came as White House National Security Advisor Jim Jones hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit declaring that the Taliban was "very diminished" in Afghanistan.

"I don't foresee the return of the Taliban," Jones said on CNN's "State of the Union." "Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling."

That's in stark contrast to the assessment of the top U.S. commander on the ground, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who warned recently that the insurgency could win if a new strategy -- including more U.S. troops -- wasn't put in place.

Jones criticized media leaks surrounding McChrystal's review of the war, saying "ideally, it's best for military advice to come up through the chain of command."

But he said he agreed that more troops are "a portion of the answer, but not the total answer" to winning the war in Afghanistan.

President Obama is expected to announce his strategy for the war this month and whether that includes adding more troops to the more than 68,000 troops expected there by the end of the year.


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