Two American service members killed in Afghanistan operation

Two American service members have been killed during an operation in , officials said.

The US and Nato Resolute Support mission said the Americans were killed while conducting an operation on Friday. In accordance with US defense department policy, the names of the service members killed in action were being withheld until after notification of the next of kin.

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The statement did not specify the location of the combat or say who the soldiers were fighting.

There are about 14,000 US military personnel in Afghanistan, supporting Afghan forces as they who now hold sway over almost half the country. They are also fihgting the Islamic State affiliate, which has expanded its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed “caliphate” has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.

The latest deaths bring the tally of US fatalities in Afghanistan to at least four in 2019, and a total of at least 65 deaths since January 2015, according to US government and Nato reports.

The war has taken a much larger toll on Afghan security forces and civilians.

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.

A record 3,804 Afghan civilians were killed last year due to stepped up air attacks by US-led forces and more suicide bombings, the United Nations said in a February report.

Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even though Taliban militants have held several rounds of talks with US officials about a peace settlement.

The latest talks wrapped up this month with both sides citing progress, but no agreement to end the 17-year war.

Source : theguardian[dot]com