Two United States service members have been killed and two others wounded after their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan‘s southern province of Kandahar, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission have said in a statement.
The service members were conducting operations on Saturday when their armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in an attack which was claimed by the Taliban.
In a tweet, a spokesman of the group said a vehicle of “American invaders” was hit near Kandahar airport, claiming that the armoured vehicle was destroyed and all on board were killed.
Last year, 20 US service members died in Afghanistan in combat-related incidents.
“In accordance with US Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action will be withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” the NATO Resolute Support Mission said in a statement.
A senior Afghan military official in Kandahar said the incident took place in the district of Dand.
Despite a winter lull in fighting due to heavy snowfall in the mountains, where the Taliban typically rest and regroup ahead of their annual spring offensive, roadside bombs continue to hit Afghan forces and their foreign allies.
There are currently approximately 12,000 US soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, down from a peak of roughly 100,000 in 2011. Of those, almost 8,000 are participating in NATO’s Resolute Support training and assistance mission – making up close to half its overall contingent.
The US and the Taliban have held talks on and off for two years in an effort to find a political solution to the 18-year war.