(Liberty Bell) – The US military announced Saturday that two US service members were killed and two more injured in Southern Afghanistan.
The service members were not identified in keeping with the Defense Department rules, according to the Associated Press.
The Taliban, however, immediately took responsibility for the attack.
According to a spokesman for the Taliban, the attack occurred in the southern Kandahar province.
The vehicle the service members were traveling in was hit by a roadside bomb according to the statement from the US military.
According to NATO and Afghan officials early Saturday, the bomb hit an army vehicle but did not mention casualties, according to the AP.
A NATO spokesman also said officials were “assessing the situation and will provide more information as it became available.”
There are currently about 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan, 5,000 of which are on counterterrorism missions, the AP notes.
Taliban militants carry out attacks on both United States and Afghan troops almost daily.
The AP reported:
The latest attack seemed certain to stall fresh efforts to restart the on-again, off-again peace talks between Washington and the Taliban.
U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been pressing the insurgents to declare a cease-fire or at least reduce violent attacks. That would give a window in which the U.S. and the Taliban could forge an agreement to withdraw all of America’s troops. That agreement would also set out a road map for direct Afghan-to-Afghan talks, mapping out the country’s post-war future.
The Taliban leadership decided at the end of December to support a temporary cease-fire to allow for a peace deal to be signed, but they never said when it would go into effect. The final approval required from their leader, Maulvi Hibatullah Akhundzada, was never announced.
Earlier Saturday, both NATO and Afghan officials had confirmed a roadside bomb hit a U.S. army vehicle, without mentioning casualties. In a short statement, a NATO spokesman said that officials were still “assessing the situation and will provide more information as it became available.”