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Two US service members killed in Afghanistan.

US military advisers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade at an Afghan National Army base in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON: Two US service members were killed in Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement, as the United States seeks to reach a negotiated end to the nearly 18-year-old war. It gave no further details and withheld the names of the service members until next of kin were informed. However, US officials say that an Afghan soldier killed the two American service members. The officials say the soldier gunned them down. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak on the record about details that have not yet been made public. US Central Command has confirmed that two US troops were killed, but provided no details. It says additional information is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete. The incident brings the number of US troops killed in Afghanistan this month to three and at least 11 in 2019. About 14,000 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan as part of the US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces and to carry out counter-terrorism operations. Despite talks between the United States and the Taliban, violence in the country continues. The death toll from a suicide attack on the Kabul office of Amrullah Saleh, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's running mate in September elections, reached 20 with at least 50 wounded, officials said on Monday as cleanup operations began. Sunday's attack added to an anxious mood in Kabul, where there is concern over chaotic election preparations and uncertainty about the future of US military support for the Afghan government. US diplomats have been talking with the Taliban for months to agree a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees. The talks are expected to resume early next month amid increasing expectations that the two sides are close to an agreement.

(With AP and Reuters)

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jul 29, 2019
Words:352
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