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Afp

US soldier killed in Afghan operation against IS

By AFP
media Wednesday's death, the latest blow to American forces in Afghanistan, follows a Taliban suicide bomb attack in Kandahar earlier this month that killed two US soldiers AFP/File

A US soldier has been killed in Afghanistan in an operation targeting Islamic State group insurgents, commanders said Thursday, in the latest blow to American forces in the war-torn nation.

The death brought the number of US soldiers -- who are supposed to be in a non-combat role in Afghanistan -- killed in action in the country so far this year to 10, one above the tally for the whole of 2016.

"One US service member has died as a result of wounds suffered Wednesday during a partnered operation with US and Afghan forces in Eastern Afghanistan," United States Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement.

"US and Afghan forces were also injured during the operation aimed at further reducing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan presence in Afghanistan," it said, referring to the IS group's regional affiliate.

The wounded were later evacuated for treatment, the statement added.

Earlier this month two US soldiers were killed in Kandahar when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a vehicle filled with explosives into their convoy.

The deaths come as President Donald Trump considers sending more troops to Afghanistan to help beat back a resurgent Taliban and an increasing IS presence.

US forces have been regularly targeting IS fighters in Afghanistan since the insurgents gained a foothold in the east of the country in 2015.

The US has killed several leaders of the group's Afghan affiliate in recent months and says it wants to defeat the outfit by the end of the year.

In April, the US military dropped the so-called Mother Of All Bombs on IS hideouts in a complex of tunnels and bunkers in eastern Nangarhar province, killing over 90 militants.

The Pentagon said the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast device was the biggest non-nuclear weapon it had ever used in combat.

IS continues to wreak havoc in the war-torn country. Earlier this month it claimed an attack on a mosque in Herat that killed 33 worshippers.

 
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