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Second American Killed in Afghanistan Since Start of Year

WASHINGTON — An American service member was killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan on Tuesday in the second United States combat death there so far this year.

A brief statement by the American-led military mission in Afghanistan said the incident was under investigation and provided no further details.

While it is unclear where the service member died, fighting has continued across the country. Taliban militants, American Special Operations troops and Afghan forces have been vying for territory as negotiations resume to end the 17-year war.

Hours after a massive attack on Monday that killed dozens of Afghans at an intelligence base in Wardak Province, a Taliban statement said the militants had resumed discussions with American diplomats in Qatar.

“Following American acceptance of the agenda of ending invasion of Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the future, talks with American representatives took place today in Doha,” a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

Both Washington and Kabul are behind the efforts, which are helmed by American special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. So far, Taliban leaders have refused to talk to Afghan officials.

Mr. Khalilzad was meeting with Taliban representatives in Doha on Tuesday and the talks were expected to continue on Wednesday, said Heidi Hattenbach, a State Department spokeswoman.

There are roughly 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan. Last month, the Trump administration ordered the military to begin plans to withdraw about 7,000 American troops from the country in coming months. But the drawdown has not yet started, and military officials have been unable to clarify how many troops will leave the country, or by when.

In 2018, 13 American troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan, up from 11 in 2017.

On Thursday, Sgt. Cameron Meddock, an Army Ranger, died in Landstuhl, Germany, after he was wounded on Jan. 13 in Afghanistan’s Bagdhis Province.




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