Taliban claims attack that killed US soldier in Afghanistan

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The attack, not yet claimed, comes amid talks between Washington and the insurgent group

Dec 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

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The Taliban on Monday claimed responsibility for an attack on an American convoy that killed one US soldier and, according to the insurgents, wounded several more.

The killing is likely to have consequences for ongoing talks between the US and the Taliban. President Donald in September declared negotiations "dead" after the Taliban killed a US soldier in a Kabul bombing.

Negotiations have since restarted in Doha, but were earlier this month put on a "pause" following yet another bombing, this time at the Bagram air base north of Kabul.

The US military confirmed the death but gave no further details and withheld the name of the service member until the next of kin were informed.

More than a dozen foreign force members have been killed in Afghanistan in 2019.

About 20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan as part of a US-led Nato mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some US forces carry out counter-terrorism operations against militant groups.

Depending on how one qualifies a combat-related death, at least 20 American troops have been killed in action in Afghanistan this year following Monday's announcement.

That makes 2019 the deadliest for US forces since combat operations officially finished at the end of 2014, and highlights the challenging security situation that persists across much of Afghanistan.

More than 2,400 US troops have been killed in combat in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in October 2001.

The attack comes one day after officials announced preliminary results in Afghanistan's presidential elections that put President Ashraf Ghani on track to secure a second term.

The Taliban have long viewed Mr Ghani as an American stooge.

Updated: December 23, 2019 10:05 AM

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