Two US Troops Killed in Suicide Car Bomb Attack in Afghanistan
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Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in a suicide car bomb attack on a NATO convoy near Kandahar in southwestern Afghanistan, Pentagon officials said.
Local reports said a suicide bomber drove a vehicle rigged with explosives into the convoy that was part of the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan as it headed to the airfield, a major hub of operations for international troops in the region.
Since the nation's longest war began in 2001, at least 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in and around Afghanistan, according to the website icasualties.org.
The suicide attack, the overall deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, and the wave of attacks by the Taliban and the ISIS offshoot called Islamic State-Khorasan Province, are expected to lend urgency to White House and Pentagon deliberations on a new strategy for the region, which could involve sending in additional troops.
The convoy attack came as Afghan authorities in western Herat province bordering Iran tightened security ahead of a mass funeral for the victims there of an attack on a mosque the previous evening that killed at least 32 and was claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or IS-K. Another 66 worshippers were injured in the assault by a suicide bomber who sprayed bullets at security guards before detonating his explosives, local authorities said.
Mattis had pledged to deliver a new strategy for Afghanistan by mid-July that would rely on increased air power and would also address the long-standing request of Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Support Mission, for an additional 3,000 to 5,000 troops.
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