WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan have plunged to the lowest level in four years. That reflects a pullback from direct combat into the less deadly role of advising Afghan forces as they do more of the fighting.
Attacks by Taliban insurgents also are declining, although the war is far from finished.
Pentagon figures show the U.S. lost three soldiers in January, including one who died of wounds suffered in December. That was the lowest monthly total since December 2008.
The total of 30 U.S. deaths over the past three months is the lowest for any three-month stretch since late 2008 and early 2009.
The trend may hold as the U.S. brings more troops home, perhaps starting this spring, and as those remaining take a back-seat role.
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