20th US Service Member of 2019 Killed in Afghanistan

Taliban tweets alleged photo of soldier's ID
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2019 12:07 AM CST
US Service Member Killed in Afghanistan
Afghan security forces stand guard during a fight against Taliban fighters in Kunduz province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.   (AP Photo/Bashir Khan Safi)

An American service member was killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan, the US military said without providing further details, while the Taliban claimed they were behind a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province that killed the US soldier. The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and US forces, as well as government officials—even as they hold peace talks with a US envoy tasked with negotiating an end to what has become America's longest war. Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.

Monday's death brings the number of US deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20, the AP reports. There have also been three non-combat deaths in 2019. The statement from the military did not identify the US soldier or say where in Afghanistan the service member was killed. Shortly after the US military statement on Monday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the US soldier was killed in the Chardara district in northern Kunduz province where US and Afghan forces were carrying out a joint raid. Mujahid said the insurgents had planted a roadside bomb that killed the service member. He even tweeted a purported photo ID of the slain US soldier, without saying how it was obtained.

(More Afghanistan stories.)

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