Three members of the United States military were killed as a result of a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Tuesday, the U.S. military said in a statement, as reported by the New York Times. It is the deadliest incident for U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.
The attack occurred near Ghazni City due to the detonation of a bomb. Three other soldiers and an American contractor were injured in the explosion and were evacuated for medical treatment. Identities cannot be released at this time since the next of kin have not been notified yet.
“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” the U.S. military said in a statement. It is believed, however, that the soldiers were part of Special Forces.
A local resident witnessed the devastation, stating the bomb exploded when the U.S. convoy passed by.
“The convoy set off a roadside mine, and there was smoke all over the place. It nearly took our lives, too,” said Haji Abdulamin, according to the New York Times. “The road was blocked, and a few minutes later helicopters landed and took the dead.”
Today’s roadside bombing is the deadliest attack against the U.S. in Afghanistan since June 2017, bringing the number of service members killed in 2018 to 13. Ghazni officials reported heavy fighting recently throughout the area, according to the New York Times. The spokesman for the province, Mohammad Arif Noori, said in a statement dozens of Taliban fighters have been killed, as well as seven security force members.
Another witness to the deadly attack saw the bomb go off. He stated there were helicopters in the area bombing the ground.
“The situation was not good,” he said. “I think six or seven Taliban were killed too.”
Just a few days ago, another soldier was killed while in Afghanistan, according to the Army Times. Sgt. Leandro Jasso, 25, an Army Ranger, was killed while deployed for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Jasso was shot by small arms fire during an operation to eliminate al Qaeda in Nimroz province. It is believed Jasso was accidentally shot by an Afghan “partner force,” according to a NATO press release. An investigation indicated he was not shot intentionally.
“The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies,” said Gen. Scott Miller, Commanding General of Resolute Support and United States Forces – Afghanistan.