Afghan forces, USA service member killed in Taliban attacks

REUTERS

REUTERS

Taliban insurgents stormed a commercial building housing a hotel in western Afghanistan, killing three security officials and injuring 10, officials said on Saturday, the latest in a surge of attacks despite reported progress in peace talks.

Qazi Abdul Rahim Rahin, a former lawmaker representing Badghis in the parliament said Mohammad Yousuf Akhgar, the police chief of district 3 of Qala-e-Naw Qazi lost his life in the attack.

The violence comes amid intensified USA -led efforts to strike a deal with the Taliban to bring an end to the 18-year-old Afghan war.

The death will bring the total number of deaths among USA military in Afghanistan this year to 11, a website that tracks casualties of US forces, iCasualties, shows.

Separately, Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate claimed Friday's suicide attack that killed 6 people. Police said the attack targeted Malik Toor, a pro-government militia commander, who was killed in the blast.

The U.S. military said on June 26, two of its service members were killed in Afghanistan, but did not offer any details surrounding the circumstances of their deaths.

USA military statement announcing the killings of the US service members was a terse, two-paragraph announcement.

PHOTO: In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, USA soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province.

The U.S. top negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad described the recent discussions as "the most productive session to date".

Pompeo added that discussions with the Taliban have also begun on US troop withdrawal.

The U.S. has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001.

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