USA forces: 3 Marines killed, Afghan contractor wounded

USA forces: 3 Marines killed, Afghan contractor wounded

USA forces: 3 Marines killed, Afghan contractor wounded

Three U.S. service members and an American contractor have been killed in a roadside bombing near the main North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air base in Afghanistan, U.S. forces in Afghanistan said on April 8.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said he supported US efforts to pursue a cease-fire with the Taliban, who effectively control half of Afghanistan and have refused to negotiate with his government.

Three American soldiers were wounded in the blast and were receiving medical treatment, the statement also said. The base in Bagram district serves as the main USA air facility in the country.

The deadly assault comes as the Trump administration negotiates with the Taliban for a permanent peace deal in Afghanistan, where USA troops have operated since late 2001 in what is now the longest military engagement in American history. The names of those killed were being withheld for 24 hours until the notification of next of kin has been completed, as per Defense Department policy.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack and said the group's fighters also seized weapons and ammunition.

Taliban fighters attacked Afghan Army checkpoints near the Pakistani border overnight, killing 20 troops, an Afghan official has said.

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A spokesperson for the Parwan governor said a suicide bomber had targeted a convoy of coalition forces at Bagram.

While their primary mission is to advise and assist Afghan security forces, USA troops continue to conduct daily patrols throughout Afghanistan. 13 were killed a year ago.

The Taliban have continued to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security forces despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent months.

"USA service members have sacrificed their lives in Afghanistan to keep us safe and no cowardly act of terror will impede our efforts to achieve peace", Pompeo said in a statement posted in his Twitter account. But the Taliban say they will not recognize any government official attending the gathering as a representative of the Kabul government, only as an individual Afghan participant.

The Taliban has until now refused to meet with the Kabul government, accusing it of being a puppet regime.

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