3 American service members, 1 contractor killed in attack in Afghanistan

Posted at 2:20 AM, Apr 09, 2019

Three American service members and a contractor were killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Monday, according to Col. David Butler, a spokesperson for U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

Three other Americans service members were also wounded in the attack, which occurred near Bagram Air Base. The wounded were evacuated and were receiving medical care.

Prior to Monday's attack, there had been a total of four American troops killed in Afghanistan in 2019: Sgt. Cameron Meddock, Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, Spc. Joseph P. Collette, and Sgt. 1st Class Will D. Lindsay.

There are 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, many of whom train, advise and assist Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban.

In February, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said he had not received orders from President Donald Trump to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by half, but U.S. military planners had been tasked with a possible troop reduction after internal discussions began late last year, according to U.S. officials.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad has led direct talks with the Taliban which resulted last month on an agreement "in draft" related to American troop withdrawal and the Taliban's commitment to deny safe haven to terror groups. However, no final decisions have been made.