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Taliban claims responsibility for death of US service member

Posted at 5:50 AM, Dec 23, 2019

The Taliban is claiming responsibility following the death of a US service member in Afghanistan on Monday, even as peace negotiations between the Taliban and US continue.

US and Afghan government forces were targeted with IEDs while conducting a raid in the northern province of Kunduz, according to Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahid.

The US military early Monday confirmed that a service member was killed in action. The name is being withheld until next of kin is notified.

Between 12,000 and 13,000 US troops are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.

At least 20 Americans have been killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, and there have been more than 2,400 total deaths of US service members since the start of the 18-year war.

The Taliban has continued to carry out attacks despite ongoing peace talks with the US.

President Donald Trump announced late last month during a visit to Afghanistan that peace negotiations between the Taliban and the US had restarted. He had ended formal peace talks in September after a Taliban-claimed attack in Kabul killed a dozen people, including an American soldier. Trump said at the time that Taliban leaders were to travel to the US for secret peace talks, but after the attack he said the meetings were "dead" and called off the negotiations.