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US service member killed in Afghanistan: NATO

US service member killed in Afghanistan: NATO

An American service member was killed in Afghanistan Friday, the US-led NATO mission said, the latest US fatality as talks between Washington and the Taliban continue.

“A US service member died during combat operations in Afghanistan, August 29, 2019,” NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

The death brings to at least 15 the number of members of the US military to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year, just as Washington is seeking a way out of its longest war.

NATO did not immediately provide any additional information. On August 21, two US Army commandos were killed in action in Afghanistan.

The death comes as the US and the Taliban continue to seek an agreement in Doha that would see thousands of American troops leave Afghanistan in return for various security guarantees.

There are currently approximately 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States will keep a permanent presence in Afghanistan, with 8,600 troops initially, even after a deal is reached with the Taliban.

Trump also warned that if another attack on the United States originated from Afghanistan, “we would come back with a force like … never before.”

Washington has been talking to the Taliban since at least 2018, with the main sticking point being how to get sufficient guarantees that Taliban territory will not be used by Al-Qaeda or other international militant groups to plot attacks on America.