Two U.S. Military Personnel Killed In Afghanistan

Mar 23, 2019, 00:26
Two U.S. Military Personnel Killed In Afghanistan

Two United States service members were killed in Afghanistan on Friday while conducting an operation, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

In a statement on March 22, the Resolute Support mission gave no further details and withheld the names of those killed.

In a statement to The New York Times, Sgt. 1st Class Debra Richardson of the American-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission said that Friday's incident was "under investigation", adding that she had "no additional information to provide".

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The Taliban have often targeted the city of Kunduz, the provincial capital of Kunduz province, most recently in a pre-dawn attack in February on an army base on the city's outskirts that killed 26 members of the Afghan security forces.

The officials added that initial indications are that they were killed during a fight with the Taliban. Some 8,500 are training and advising Afghan security forces in stabilizing the country and battling the Taliban insurgency as part of the USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

The incident brings the number of American combat deaths in Afghanistan up to four this year.

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The 17-year conflict began as US forces launched a campaign to overthrow the Taliban in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

It comes as talks between the USA and Taliban militants drag on in a bid to reach a peace agreement. The Taliban have consistently refused to talk with the government in Kabul, describing it as a US puppet.

Despite these challenges, officials have told CNN that the Trump administration has instructed the USA military to begin drawing up plans for a substantial drawdown of U.S. personnel in Afghanistan.

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It comes amid negotiations between the USA and Taliban insurgents to end the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan. Zalmay Khalilzad, is now hosting his counterparts from Russia, China, and the European Union in Washington to discuss the nascent peace talks, according to the State Department.

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