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U.S. serviceman among dozen killed in Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul

2019-09-10

An American service member was among a dozen people killed by a suicide bomb blast in the Afghan capital of Kabul Thursday, officials have confirmed.

A Romanian soldier was also killed, the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan told the Associated Press. The American’s name has not yet been released.

The attack occurred at a checkpoint near NATO headquarters and the U.S. embassy, a U.S. military official said.

Ten Afghan civilians were also killed, according to officials. Another 42 people were wounded, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

The U.S. service member was the 16th to be killed in Afghanistan this year, including three others in recent weeks.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The U.S. and the Taliban had just finished a ninth round of talks in Qatar on Sunday and officials in Kabul were about to be briefed on the proposal. The draft agreement called for 5,400 U.S. troops to leave and five bases to close in Afghanistan in the next five months.

The Taliban has said its attacks are designed to strengthen its position in negotiations with the U.S. and that civilians should stay away from potential targets linked to the Afghan government or foreign “invaders.”

The Afghan government, which has been shut out of the talks, condemned Thursday’s attack.

“Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement obtained by AP.

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis condemned the attack.

“Appalled by the terrorist attack in Afghanistan, in which a Romanian soldier lost his life, the second attack this week resulting in the killing of a Romanian citizen,” Iohannis wrote. “Condolences to the families of the victims.”

With News Wire Services