Taleban claim attack that killed US soldier in Afghanistan

A photo taken on June 6, 2019, showing US soldiers looking over hill sides in the Nerkh district of Wardak province, Afghanistan. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - The Taleban on Monday (Dec 23) claimed responsibility for an attack on an American convoy that killed one US soldier and, according to the insurgents, wounded several more.

The killing is likely to have consequences for the ongoing talks between the United States and the Taleban. President Donald Trump in September declared negotiations "dead" after the Taleban killed a US soldier in a Kabul bombing.

Negotiations have since restarted in Doha, but were earlier this month put on a "pause" following yet another bombing, this time at the Bagram air base north of Kabul.

According to US Forces-Afghanistan, one American service member died in combat on Monday following an attack. The Americans did not release any additional information.

In a WhatsApp message to AFP, Taleban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said insurgents "blew up an American vehicle in Char Dara district of Kunduz" late on Sunday night.

Depending on how one qualifies a combat-related death, at least 20 American troops have been killed in action in Afghanistan this year following Monday's announcement.

That makes 2019 the deadliest for US forces since combat operations officially finished at the end of 2014, and highlights the challenging security situation that persists across much of Afghanistan.

More than 2,400 US troops have been killed in combat in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in October 2001.

The attack comes one day after officials announced preliminary results in Afghanistan's presidential elections that put President Ashraf Ghani on track to secure a second term.

The Taleban have long viewed Mr Ghani as an American stooge.

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