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03Nov16


Taliban kills 2 US soldiers in Kunduz


The Taliban killed two US soldiers and wounded two more in an attack in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz. The US soldiers were operating as part of Resolute Support's "train, advise and assist mission."

From the Resolute Support press release announcing the soldier's deaths:

    Two U.S. service members died as a result of wounds sustained during operations in Kunduz district, Kunduz province today. Two other U.S. service members were wounded in the operationů

    The service members came under fire during a train, advise and assist mission with our Afghan partners to clear a Taliban position and disrupt the group's operations in Kunduz district.

    U.S. Department of Defense policy is to withhold the identity of the service members pending next-of-kin notification. We will release additional information as appropriate.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense noted that three Afghan commandos and two US special forces soldiers were killed in Kunduz, TOLONews reported.

As the Resolute Support press release notes, the fighting took place in Kunduz district, which also hosts the provincial capital. Kunduz district is one of 97 districts that are controlled or contested by the Taliban, according to a study by The Long War Journal.

The Taliban acknowledged the incident on its Arabic language version of Voice of Jihad, and claimed the US launched airstrikes on civilians after its soldiers were killed. TOLONews said that "unconfirmed reports [of civilian casualties] indicate the tally was quite high."

Resolute Support noted on its Twitter feed that "Airstrikes were conducted in Kunduz to defend friendly forces under fire" and "All civilian casualty claims will be investigated."

The Taliban stormed Kunduz city on Oct. 3 and remained inside for nine days during heavy fighting. Resolute Support insisted Afghan security forces cleared the city within 24 hours of the Taliban entering even while fighting raged outside of the governor's compound in the center of the city.

Jihadist in Afghanistan have killed three US soldiers in the past month. On Oct. 5, the Islamic State killed a US soldier in an IED attack in Achin district in Nangarhar province. The soldier was on a "counter terrorism mission targeting the Islamic State," according to the US military. Seven US servicemen and two Romanian soldiers have been killed in "hostile fire" in Afghanistan in 2016, according to iCasualties.org.

[Source: By Bill Roggio, Threat Matrix, The Long War Journal, NJ, 03Nov16]

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