US Service Member Killed in Action in Afghanistan

REUTERS

After almost 18 years, it is America's longest war, in which over 2,400 American service members have died.

Mujahed said two USA service personnel were killed when Taliban militants attacked a tank in Sayed Abad district of central Wardak province, barely 40 miles south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The group often embellishes details of its attacks, including US casualty counts.

Rahimi said there were totally three attackers.

The militants assaulted the building containing a hotel, several eateries and shops situated near the police headquarters and the governor's house in Qala-e-Naw, the capital city of Badghis province.

According to Abdul Latif Rostaee, the local director of public health, 18 were wounded, including six civilians.

Officials said two of the gunmen were killed and one suspect had yet to be apprehended.

Saturday's announcement brings the total number of US troop deaths in Afghanistan this year to 11, according to iCasualties, a website that tracks casualties of USA forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

More than 2,400 American military personnel have been killed since the war began and more than 20,000 others have been wounded.

The ISIS affiliate is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan and is slowly expanding into the mountains of nearby Kunar and Nuristan provinces, also in eastern Afghanistan.

The United States, Russia, China, and Pakistan have called on the Taliban to immediately agree to a cease-fire and to direct negotiations with the Afghan government.

The killings occurred a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick visit to the Afghan capital of Kabul where he said Washington was hopeful of a peace deal before September 1.

The Taliban, believing they have an upper hand as they seek a U.S. troop withdrawal, have refused to negotiate with the internationally recognized government or to halt its deadly campaign of attacks.

The death was the first by a service member in Afghanistan this month.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, walks from a helicopter with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 25, 2019.

The veteran USA diplomat also denied that the United States was "cutting and running" from the war-torn country as it negotiates a peace agreement with the Taliban.

The report said "The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for various groups, including the Taliban and its component Haqqani Network (HQN), al-Qa'ida core (AQ), al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), ISIS-K, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)".

Indian security agencies said the terrorist cadre's shift to across the Durand Line has been done to avoid black-listing of Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its Paris conference later this year.

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