The incident comes amid escalating tensions in the country due to the presidential elections on Sunday. It also comes just one day after the Taliban* allegedly agreed on a nationwide ceasefire.
An American service member was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, the US military stated, without providing further details. In accordance with US Army regulations, the name of the soldier has been withheld until the next of kin can be informed.
In the meantime, AFP reported that the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the incident. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the agency that the militants “blew up an American vehicle in the Char Dara district of Kunduz” on Sunday, killing the US service member and wounding several Afghan troops.
At the moment, up to 20,000 foreign troops are stationed in Afghanistan; the majority of them are from the US. The US-led mission trains the Afghan forces and participates in various operations against local militants.
Earlier in December, the US reportedly resumed negotiations with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, after a three-month break. President Donald Trump also mentioned the issue during his surprise visit to an American military base in Afghanistan, stating that the Taliban wanted to strike a deal with Washington.
The previous year-long series of talks had seemingly reached a point of signing some kind of accord, which would result in the withdrawal of US forces from the country after an 18-year campaign, in exchange for security guarantees from the Taliban. The militants, who vowed to oppose the “occupation forces” in the country, were allegedly ready to guarantee that Afghanistan won’t become a haven for terrorist organisations.
The negotiations, however, were stopped after an American serviceman was killed in an attack in Kabul; the Taliban claimed responsibility. After that, Trump stated that the talks were “dead”, and the armed group announced it would continue fighting against the US forces.
*Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia