A suicide bomber has hit a convoy of international troops just outside of Kandahar, the attack has been confirmed by NATO. Two U.S. service members were killed.
A suicide bomber struck the convoy and the Taliban took responsibility for the attack.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman in southern Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to CBS News. He said a suicide bomber driving a van attacked U.S. forces and claimed many had been killed and wounded, but the Taliban often greatly exaggerates causalities from its attacks.
Ghulam Ali, who runs a mechanics shop near the attack site on the outskirts of the city of Kandahar, says he saw a military vehicle on fire on the road. He says helicopters arrived and he saw soldiers being taken away from the scene but could not determine the extent of their injuries.
A spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Captain William Salvin said the deaths occurred in the same valley where the United States had dropped a massive bomb on a complex of fortified tunnel being used by the Islamic State.
As reported by Fox News:
Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday when their convoy came under attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.
An Afghan police official in Kandahar said a suicide bomber hit the convoy of international troops on the edge of the southern city of Kandahar. NATO officials also confirmed the attack.
“Resolute Support can confirm that a NATO convoy was attacked this afternoon in Kandahar,” a NATO statement read. “The attack did cause casualties.”
The American forces in southern Afghanistan are part of the more than 8,400 troops currently deployed in the country.
The combined U.S. and NATO troop contingent currently in Afghanistan is about 13,500. The Trump administration is deciding whether to send about 4,000 or more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan in an attempt to stem Taliban gains.
U.S. and international forces operate primarily out of Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan. There are also more than 300 Marines and Army soldiers in neighboring Helmand Province.