Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion

Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion

Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion

Three other service members were injured, a statement from the military says.

Three US service members and a contractor were killed in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device on Monday, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

The incident brings the number of US service member deaths in Afghanistan to seven in 2019, and a total of 68 USA military deaths since January 2015, according to the US government.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Abdul Shakor Qudosi, the district administrative chief in Bagram, said American soldiers opened fire immediately after their convoy was bombed.

The group said an attacker detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near the base in Parwan province. In November, a roadside bomb blast killed three USA service members near the central Afghan city of Ghazni.

Prior to Monday's attack, there had been a total of four American troops killed in Afghanistan in 2019: Sgt. Cameron Meddock, Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, Spc.

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The war has taken a much larger toll on Afghan security forces and civilians.

Almost 2,300 American soldiers have died and more than 20,400 have been wounded in the country since a US-led coalition ousted the Taliban in 2001.

The US now has some 14,000 troops in Afghanistan - down from a peak of around 100,000 - a lot of them deployed to train and advise Afghan counterparts.

While parts of Afghanistan including Kabul have experienced something of a lull in attacks in recent weeks, United States and Afghan forces have stepped up attacks on the Taliban across the country.

Sunday, chief American peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, concluded a almost weeklong visit to Kabul where he held extensive consultations with leaders inside and outside the Afghan government as well as civil society representatives. The outspoken advisor visited eastern provinces when Khalilzad was in Kabul.

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