Casey Responds to Report of 60 Percent Increase in Troops Killed by IEDs in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement:

The Washington Post reported today that the number of U.S. troops killed by roadside bombs in Afghanistan increased by 60 percent last year, while the number of those wounded almost tripled.  Over the past year, I have sought to highlight the role played by ammonium nitrate, a potent ingredient used in IEDs. Ammonium nitrate is illegal in Afghanistan but is legal in Pakistan and we know that this deadly material is easily smuggled across the border.  Earlier this month, I sent a letter to the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan to encourage their cooperation on combating the illicit flow across their shared border.  I will continue to press these governments as well as our own to do everything possible to limit the threat posed by IEDs to our troops on the ground.”

In November 2010, Senator Casey chaired an SFRC subcommittee hearing on the threat posed by IEDs in Afghanistan and in April 2010 led a Senate resolution which called upon governments in the region to restrict the flow of IED precursor materials into Afghanistan.