Publish dateMonday 10 February 2020 - 04:18
Story Code : 203163
Pentagon confirms 2 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan
The U.S. Department of Defense has confirmed that two U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.
"Both soldiers died February 8, 2020 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations," said the Pentagon in a statement released Sunday, adding the incident is under investigation.
Both soldiers were assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), according to the statement.
U.S. media reported Saturday that a firefight had taken place between Afghan and American soldiers in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province earlier in the day, leading to fatalities on both sides.
The U.S. military described the Saturday incident in a separate statement, saying "an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun. We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time."
Citing an Afghan defense ministry official, U.S. media reported Sunday that the shooter was not a Taliban infiltrator but an Afghan soldier who had argued with the U.S. forces before opening fire.
Six U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of 2020.
The incident came days after U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan and peace talks with the Taliban militant group were underway.
Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban began last year but have been interrupted at least twice after Taliban attacks on U.S. military personnel in September and December of last year.
The United States maintains roughly 13,000 troops in Afghanistan, which mostly provide training missions to local Afghan forces while conducting counterterrorism operations.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest one in U.S. history. The death toll of U.S. service members has surpassed 2,400 since the country invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
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