Published: Fri, March 22, 2019

United States soldiers killed during Afghan operation

United States soldiers killed during Afghan operation

Two United States service members were killed in Afghanistan on Friday, according to a statement from the NATO-led worldwide military coalition in Kabul.

"Two US service members were killed while conducting an operation March 22", the statement read. There were no further details, and the names of those killed were being withheld until next of kin are notified.

There are about 14,000 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan, supporting Afghan forces as they struggle with a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over nearly half the country.

But the Taliban subsequently regrouped while Washington shifted its attention to Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and by 2009, the war had become a stalemate.

On November 27 previous year, three U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded in a bombing near Ghazni, taking to 12 the number of American service personnel to die in Afghanistan in 2018.

USA envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration's main negotiator with the Taliban, concluded earlier this month a 13-day marathon session with leaders of the armed group.

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

The deaths are the latest casualties to hit the worldwide coalition amid ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban.

The talks have also opened a rift between Washington and Kabul, with some Afghan officials accusing the United States of sidelining the Afghan government.

President Trump is reportedly considering withdrawing half of the 14,000 American troops now serving, which make up the bulk of the force.

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