US forces: 3 US troops killed, Afghan contractor wounded

US forces: 3 US troops killed, Afghan contractor wounded

US forces: 3 US troops killed, Afghan contractor wounded

The U.S. and NATO Resolute Support mission said the American troops were killed near the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, while three others were wounded in the explosion.

(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. The base in Bagram district is located in northern Parwan province and serves as the main US air facility in the country.

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.

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identities of the killed and wounded are being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. Afghan officials said the blast killed a police officer and a civilian while eight other people were injured. He leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters.

The Taliban claimed credit for the attack, which involved a vehicle bomb targeting a USA military convoy near one of America's largest military facilities in Afghanistan. The conflicting accounts could not be immediately reconciled.

The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, where they primarily advise Afghan forces battling the Taliban and the local ISIS affiliate.

Seven US service members have been killed in Afghanistan this year.

But the Taliban say they will not recognize any government official attending the gathering as a representative of the Kabul government, only as an individual Afghan participant. 13 were killed past year.

Violence has been relentless in the country even though Taliban have held several rounds of talks with U.S. officials about a peace settlement.

Abdullah said the Taliban could partake in elections and even compete for the presidency if they renounce violence. The insurgents dismiss the Afghan government as a USA puppet.

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