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At least 322 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year, exceeding the previous annual record of 304 for all of 2009, according to an AP count.

Gen. Petraeus is asking for 2,000 more soldiers for the international force, NATO officials said Monday. It was unclear how many would be Americans.

Coalition officials said nearly half will be trainers for the rapidly expanding Afghan security forces and will include troops trained to neutralize roadside bombs that have been responsible for about 60 percent of the 2,000 allied deaths in the nearly nine-year war.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to talk about the issue with media, said the NATO-led command had been asking for the troops even before Gen. Petraeus assumed command here in July.

Gen. Petraeus recently renewed that request with the NATO command in Brussels. The alliance has had trouble raising more troops for the war effort, with at least 450 training slots still unfilled after more than a year.

With casualties rising, the war has become deeply unpopular in many of NATO’s 28 member countries, suggesting the additional forces will have to come from the United States.

Also Tuesday, authorities confirmed the ambush killing of a district chief by suspected insurgents in the northern province of Baghlan on Monday afternoon. Nahrin district chief Rahmad Sror Joshan Pool was on his way home after a memorial service for slain anti-Soviet guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud when rocket-propelled grenades hit his vehicle, setting it on fire, provincial spokesman Mahmood Haqmal said.

Mr. Pool’s bodyguard also was killed in the attack, and one militant died and two were wounded in the ensuing fire fight with police, Mr. Haqmal said.

Five children were killed and five wounded in Yaya Khil district in the southern province of Paktika when an insurgent rocket fired at an Afghan army base hit a home Monday evening, provincial government spokesman Mokhlais Afghan said.

Kidnappers also seized two electoral workers and their two drivers in the western province of Ghor, according to deputy provincial police Chief Ahmad Khan Bashir.

Insurgents have waged a campaign of violence and intimidation to prevent Afghans from voting, especially in rural areas, while some pre-election violence has also been blamed on rivalries among the candidates.

Associated Press writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, Travis Reed in Miami and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.