U.S. defense officials announced on Monday that three American troops were killed by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
The suicide car bombing reportedly happened near Bagram Air Base, an airfield located in northern Parwan province and one of the largest U.S. bases in Afghanistan. Three Americans were also wounded in the attack. The injured troops were medically evacuated from the battlefield.
In accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identities of the killed and wounded are being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
The Taliban has reportedly claimed responsibility for the suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack.
The deaths bring the number of American troops killed in Afghanistan this year to seven. Two Americans, an Army Green Beret and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialist, were killed during a mission in Kunduz province last month. An Army Ranger and a Green Beret were killed during separate operations in January.
There are currently around 14,000 U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan. While their primary mission is to advise and assist Afghan security forces, U.S. troops continue to conduct daily patrols throughout Afghanistan. Special operations forces are carrying out counterterrorism missions which often place them in harm’s way.
A reduction in the number of U.S. troops in the country has been bandied about for months. Talks between representatives from the United States, the government of Afghanistan, and the Taliban have continued in the hopes of reaching a peace deal that could potentially see the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country and a pledge by the Taliban not to provide a safe haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.