US soldiers killed in Afghanistan, NATO says

Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan NATO

Two U.S. Service Members Killed on NATO Mission in Afghanistan AFP BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIBEN KEW22 Mar 2019

Markus Potzel, Germany's Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan in a tweet on Friday made the announcement and said a vast majority in German Parliament voted for an extension of Germany military's contribution to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

The deaths bring the number of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year to four.

The incident brings the number of American combat deaths in Afghanistan up to four this year.

Two U.S. service members were killed Friday.

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A Taliban statement later in the day said insurgents engaged in heavy fighting with Afghan and USA forces overnight in the northern city of Kunduz.

There are about 14,000 United States military personnel in Afghanistan, supporting Afghan forces as they struggle with a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over nearly half the country.

Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban have intensified in recent months, negotiations that have rankled the Afghan government in Kabul, which has been excluded from the process.

The deaths occurred as the US grapples with how to extricate itself from its longest war. The 17-year conflict began as US forces launched a campaign to overthrow the Taliban in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

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Despite nearly two decades of US led war the situation in Afghanistan remains deeply unstable. The Taliban have consistently refused to talk with the government in Kabul, describing it as a US puppet.

It brings the total number of US service members killed this year in the country to four, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

According to a recent report from the United Nations, more civilians were killed past year in Afghanistan than at any time since records have been kept, with 3,084 civilian deaths recorded in 2018 alone, including the deaths of 927 children.

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