AP NEWS

3 U.S. service members, 1 contractor killed in Afghanistan IED attack

April 8, 2019

Four Americans were killed and three others wounded Monday by a roadside bomb near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, military officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed three American soldiers and one contractor. The three wounded service members were evacuated and are receiving medical care, the Pentagon said.

A Taliban fighter reportedly detonated an explosive vest near the base, which is located north of Kabul.

The deadly assault comes as the Trump administration negotiates with the Taliban for a permanent peace deal in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have operated since late 2001 in what is now the longest military engagement in American history. One of the chief conditions of U.S. negotiators is that the Taliban cease all attacks on American personnel and end all support for terrorism.

It’s unclear whether Monday’s incident will have any impact on ongoing negotiations.

Over the weekend U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconstruction Zalmay Khalilzad met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other officials as part of those efforts.

President Trump reportedly is weighing a major drawdown of U.S. forces, a key demand of the Taliban. There are currently about 14,000 American troops still stationed inside the country.