Three US troops, 1 contractor killed in Afghanistan IED blast, Pentagon says

Three US troops, 1 contractor killed in Afghanistan IED blast, Pentagon says

Three US troops, 1 contractor killed in Afghanistan IED blast, Pentagon says

The blast from an improvised explosive device occurred near Bagram Air Base, the largest USA military base in Afghanistan.

(Sgt. Justin Updegraff/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, FILE) U.S. Soldiers with Task Force Iron maneuver an M-777 howitzer, so it can be towed into position at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan, June 10, 2017.

Afghan forces have launched an operation to drive back the Taliban four days after the insurgents attacked and besieged an army compound in the western Badghis province.

"My heartfelt prayers to the families of the Americans killed near Bagram".

The statement further added that the wounded service members were evacuated and are receiving medical care. The explosion occurred near Bagram air base, 50km (31 miles) north of the capital Kabul.

Last year, 13 US service members were killed in Afghanistan.

Officials did not immediately release the names of those killed, in line with standard policy pending notification of next of kin, or the nationality of the contractor. He leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters.

The military initially reported that four people died in the attack, which was claimed by the Taliban: three USA service members and a military contractor.


Four were passers-by and the fifth was a driver of a vehicle going down the road, said Abdul Raqib Kohistani, the Bagram district police chief.

The deadly blast unfolded as the Trump administration - including Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-born former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq - is engaged in peace talks with the Taliban.

The fatalities, which bring to seven the number of USA soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, underscore the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year war, America's longest.

Last year, 13 US service members were killed in Afghanistan.

While US officials have said that peace talks with the Taliban have made progress, they have yet to finalize any agreements and intense fighting between the government and the insurgency continues.

The Taliban has until now refused to meet with the Kabul government, accusing it of being a puppet regime.

Abdullah said the Taliban could partake in elections and even compete for the presidency if they renounce violence.

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