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National Security & Defense

Taliban Claims It Killed Three U.S. Soldiers, One Contractor in Afghanistan

Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard, and Tenth Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019. (First Lieutenant Verniccia Ford/US Army)

Three U.S. troops and one U.S. contractor were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when an improvised explosive device exploded in the vicinity of the main American military base in the country, the U.S. military has announced. Another three soldiers were injured in the blast when their convoy hit a roadside explosive near Bagram Air Base. They have been evacuated and given medical treatment.

The Taliban, in an account of the attack that differed from the U.S. military’s, claimed responsibility, saying an affiliated suicide bomber had detonated a vehicle containing explosives near the base.

The latest deaths bring the total up to seven U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year. Two U.S. troops were killed late last month in the Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan while conducting an operation that was carried out jointly by U.S. and Afghan forces.

At least 65 U.S. service members have died in Afghanistan since the January 2015 launch of Operation Resolute Support, in which the thousands of U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan are working to train, advise, and assist local Afghan forces to fight ISIS and Taliban combatants. In December, President Trump promised to bring home at least half of the American troops in the country.

Taliban officials have held several rounds of peace talks with U.S. diplomats that American officials said were productive. But the terror group has also continued to launch attacks in Afghanistan, including one perpetrated by Taliban militants last week that killed at least 30 soldiers and police officers in Afghanistan.

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