US troops killed in eastern Afghanistan

01 May 2017, 04:44 | Isaac Mcdaniel

US troops killed in eastern Afghanistan

US troops killed in eastern Afghanistan

USA officials say a solution to the conflict can only come through a political settlement which includes the Taliban, who have rejected peace talks while foreign forces remain in Afghanistan.

Both threats have posed challenges this month.

Beginning in 2016, Afghan security forces backed by USA military advisers have launched a major offensive against ISIS, with Nicholson saying that the terror group has lost about half of its fighters and been ejected from two-thirds of its territory. "It is civilians, with increasing numbers of women and children, who far too often bear the brunt of the conflict", said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan in a release.

Navy Lt. Chris Donlon, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan confirmed that the incident happened close to Achin and near where USA aircraft dropped a massive 22,000-pound bomb, called a GBU-43, two weeks ago.

Achin is the same district where a USA soldier was killed earlier this month and where the massive ordnance air blast (MOAB) bomb was dropped April 14.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the casualties occurred during an operation Wednesday night in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.

The announcement came after the Taliban killed scores of people in a raid on an army base in northern Afghanistan, one of its deadliest assaults on a military installation since the 2001 US-led invasion.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ended its current mission there in 2014, and but troops remain in the country to assist and train the Afghan Security Forces, though they have been increasingly called on for support.

With more than one third of Afghanistan outside of government control, civilians also continue to bear a heavy brunt, with thousands killed and wounded each year with children paying an increasingly disproportionate price, according to United Nations figures.

Mattis also warned that 2017 would be "another tough year" for Afghan security forces, but would not be drawn on recent calls by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson for "a few thousand" more troops.

About 10 insurgents disguised as soldiers drove into a training compound in Mazar-e Sharif and killed at least 135 soldiers, according to an official death toll. He said it had been a long day of fighting.

In addition to the Taliban, Afghanistan is battling an emerging local Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliate known as Islamic State in Khorasan. Meanwhile, the US has about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.

The NATO and US forces completed their combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, after 13 years of military presence in the country but around 13,000 foreign troops remain in the country to train and assist the Afghan forces. On April 8, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, of Edgewood, Maryland, was killed by small-arms fire, also in Nangahar.

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