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

2019-09-05

Resolute Support (RS) forces remove a damaged vehicle after a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

An American serviceman 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 U.S. soldier’s name was being withheld until the family is notified, AP said.

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

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

Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. A large car bomb rocked the Afghan capital on Thursday and smoke rose from a part of eastern Kabul near a neighborhood housing the U.S. Embassy, the NATO Resolute Support mission and other diplomatic missions. At least three people were killed and another 30 wounded, a hospital director said.
Afghan security personnel arrive at the site of car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. A large car bomb rocked the Afghan capital on Thursday and smoke rose from a part of eastern Kabul near a neighborhood housing the U.S. Embassy, the NATO Resolute Support mission and other diplomatic missions. At least three people were killed and another 30 wounded, a hospital director said. (Rahmat Gul/AP)

The U.S. service member was the 16th to be killed in Afghanistan this year, including three others in recent weeks, The Washington Post and other outlets reported.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement that it was targeting a convoy of foreigners, The Post said.

The U.S. and the Taliban had just finished a ninth round of talks in Qatar on Sunday, The Washington Post noted, 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 Post said, once approved by President Trump.

The Afghan government, which is not involved in the U.S.-Taliban negotiations, were not at all sure about the deal.

This was the second bomb blast in Kabul in three days, The Post noted, and the Taliban had attacked two regional capitals this past week as well.

“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.”