Two American service members were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday when their truck struck an improvised explosive device (IED). The U.S.-led coalition in Kabul confirmed the attack, The Hill reported.
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack. Their spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, said the attack took place in the southern Kandahar province, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Since the United States deployed to Afghanistan, more than 2,400 American troops have been killed. Last year alone 23 service members were killed, making it one of the deadliest for the United States.
Even though Washington has continually engaged in peace talks with the Taliban, those talks were put on hold in September when the terrorist organization killed 12 people, including one American soldier. The negotiations recently resumed but Saturday's attack is said to be an effort to stop those peace talks.
As it currently stands, the Taliban control or heavily influence about half of Afghanistan. The Trump administration has had ongoing peace talks with the Taliban in hopes eventually being able to pull troops out of the country. In order to do so the Trump administration needs reassurances from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not be used for terrorist groups to launch attacks.
“The Taliban wants to make a deal — we’ll see if they make a deal. If they do they do, and if they don’t they don’t. That's fine,” President Trump said during a November meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. “The Taliban wants to make a deal and we’re meeting with them and we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire and they didn’t want to do a cease-fire and now they do want to do a cease-fire. I believe it’ll probably work out that way.”
Once the Taliban and the U.S. come to an agreement, American troops can be pulled out of the country. That would allow Afghan-to-Afghan talks, which will determine the country’s post-war future.