Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Two US servicemembers killed in Afghanistan

Two US servicemembers killed in Afghanistan

Two U.S. service members were killed during an operation in Afghanistan Friday, the U.S. -led NATO Resolute Support mission in the country said in a brief statement.

Two American service members have been killed during an operation in Afghanistan, officials said. In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action were being withheld until after notification of the next of kin.

A US soldier watches Afghan Commandos take part in a combat training exercise at Shorab Military Camp in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2017.

The deaths come a day after at least six people were killed by blasts in an Islamic State-claimed attack during Persian New Year celebrations in a Shiite area of Kabul.

It comes amid negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban insurgents to end the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan. USA special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Taliban representatives in Qatar earlier this month, reaching two "draft agreements", the AP reports. In exchange, the US would agree to withdrawing forces. The United States has been holding talks with the Taliban movement.

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The Pentagon has recently been developing plans to withdraw up to half of the American forces still in the country while at the same time stepping up efforts and having the USA negotiate with the Taliban.

The U.S. military's mission is focused on guiding and aiding Afghan forces battling the Taliban, who were ousted from power in 2001.

The Taliban has proved resurgent in recent years.

Some 8,500 are training and advising Afghan security forces in stabilizing the country and battling the Taliban insurgency as part of the USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

President Ashraf Ghani, speaking at the World Economic Forum in January, said that about 45,000 Afghan security forces have been killed since he took office in September 2014, which works out to an average of 849 per month.

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