US Official: American Casualties in Afghanistan

Several US personnel were either injured or killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2020 3:30 PM CST
US Troops Are Under Fire in Afghanistan, Official Says
In this April 17, 2017 file photo, US soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division fire artillery in support of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants from their base east of Mosul.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

American and Afghan military personnel were fired on while conducting an operation in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the US military said Saturday. Several US personnel were either injured or killed, but the exact number and other details were not provided, said a US official who agreed to discuss the incident only on condition of anonymity, the AP reports. A US military spokesman, Col. Sonny Leggett, said in a statement that both Afghan and US personnel were "engaged by direct firing." Leggett said that "we are assessing the situation," but didn't provide any information on possible casualties or other details. The Taliban and the Islamic State group affiliate both operate in eastern Nangarhar province.

The incident comes as Washington seeks to find an end to Afghanistan's 18-year war, America's longest. Washington's peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been meeting with Taliban representatives in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar in recent weeks. He's seeking an agreement to reduce hostilities to get a peace deal signed that would start negotiations among Afghans on both sides of the conflict. In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump referenced the peace talks, saying US soldiers were not meant to serve as "law enforcement agencies" for other nations. "In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our war fighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are now underway," he said.

(Read more US military stories.)

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