3 US service members killed in Taliban bombing

Three American service members were killed in a bombing near the Bagram Air Base earlier today.

Their deaths were confirmed by NATO’s Resolute Support, which said that three other service members and an Afghan contractor were wounded and “are receiving medical care.” The initial report indicated that a US contract was killed, but Resolute Support issued a statement clarifying that the contractor, who was an Afghan national, was wounded. The US military hasn’t provided any other specific details about the incident.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its social media sites. Zabihullah Mujahid, one of the group’s spokesmen, tweeted a photo of the aftermath of the blast.

Mujahid said the bombing was carried out by a “martyrdom seeker” known as “Nasibullah Illyas,” who detonated his vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) on an American convoy outside of a gate at Bagram Air Base.

The tweet from Mujahid’s account can be seen below:

US forces last suffered significant casualties in March.

Two American soldiers were killed during combat operations in Kunduz province on Mar. 22. The Defense Department hasn’t offered any details concerning the circumstances surrounding their deaths, saying only that “incident is under investigation.”

The Taliban released its own statement about the fighting in Kunduz that same day, claiming American and Afghan forces (described as “hirelings”) “launched a raid last night on Telawoka area of Kunduz capital” and that the jihadists “engaged the enemy with heavy and light weapons, sparking clashes that” went on for some time. The group said that “5 invaders and 13 hireling commandos” had been killed, alleging that the Pentagon had concealed the true number of American deaths.

The Taliban often exaggerates the number of foreign casualties caused by its operations. For instance, the Taliban, in an official statement on Voice of Jihad, claimed 24 US soldiers were killed during its assault on Camp Shorabak in Helmand province on March 1. Later, rgarding the same operation, Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi claimed that 70 US and 100 Afghan soldiers were killed during the raid. However, no US soldiers were killed that day, although Afghan forces took heavy casualties. There have been six US soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of 2019.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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