Blast hits US army vehicle in Afghanistan

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A Taliban roadside bomb ripped through a US army vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, with no immediate details of casualties.

The incident took place in Dand district of southern Kandahar province, where a bomb hit a US armoured vehicle, provincial police spokesman Jamal Nasir Barkzai told AFP.

“Foreign forces were patrolling near the Kandahar airport when they were hit by a blast. We don’t have the details of the casualties because they have cordoned off the area,” he said.

A NATO Resolute Support spokesman in southern Afghanistan confirmed the incident and said the situation was being assessed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid saying on Twitter that the blast destroyed the vehicle, killing all on board.

Violence in Afghanistan usually recedes as the cold winter sets in but this year the Taliban have pushed forward with their operations despite heavy snowfall in the mountains — and despite their negotiations with the US for a deal that would see American troops leave the country.

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According to parts of the deal made public so far, the Pentagon would pull about 5,000 of its 13,000 or so troops from five bases across Afghanistan, provided the Taliban sticks to its security pledges.

The insurgents have said they will renounce Al-Qaeda, fight the Islamic State group and stop jihadists using Afghanistan as a safe haven.

Last year was the deadliest for US forces in Afghanistan since combat operations officially finished at the end of 2014, highlighting the challenging security situation that persists.

More than 2,400 US troops have been killed in combat in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in October 2001.

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(TodayNg)