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Afghanistan: US Soldier Killed in Taliban Attack

Afghanistan: US Soldier Killed in Taliban Attack

Monday, 23 December, 2019 - 08:15
FILE PHOTO: U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) Base in Logar province, Afghanistan August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

A US service member was killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan, the US military said, without providing further details. Meanwhile, the Taliban claimed they were behind a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province that killed the soldier.

The latest fatality brings the number of US deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20. There have also been three non-combat deaths in 2019. More than 2,400 US soldiers have died in the nearly 18-year conflict.

The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and US forces, as well as government officials.

Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.

Monday's US military statement did not identify the soldier or say where in Afghanistan the service member was killed, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

It said that in accordance with US Department of Defense policy, names of service member killed in action are being withheld for 24 hours, until the notification of the family is completed.

Last month, two US service members were killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed in eastern Logar province.

The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that crash, saying they had downed the helicopter, causing many fatalities.

However, the US military dismissed the Taliban claim as false.

After the US military statement on Monday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the US soldier was killed in the Chardara district in northern Kunduz province where US and Afghan forces were carrying out a joint raid.

Mujahid said the insurgents had planted roadside bomb that killed the service member.

According to AP, he even tweeted a purported photo ID of the slain US soldier, without saying how it was obtained.

The Taliban have a strong presence in Kunduz province and are completely in control of several of the province's districts.

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