August was officially the deadliest month for US troops fighting in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan.

Sixty-six troops have died so far this month, including 30 who perished in a helicopter crash on Aug. 6. It was the single deadliest event of the war.

Twenty-three others died in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in the southern part of the country where Afghan and US-led forces are attempting to drive out militants and restore order. The remaining 13 were killed in eastern Afghanistan.

The previous record of 65 deaths occurred in July 2010.

In June, President Barack Obama announced that he would begin withdrawing the 33,000 troops he dispatched for a tactical surge. About 10,000 troops are expected to come home this year and the other 23,000 will return by the summer of 2012.

[Associated Press]