U.S. service member killed in action in Afghanistan

A soldier with NATO forces stands guard during the graduation ceremony of newly Afghan National Army soldiers in Kabul

The violence comes amid intensified US -led efforts to strike a deal with the Taliban to bring an end to the 18-year-old Afghan war.

The blast killed two USA soldiers and wounded three others, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

Separately, a gun battle in the capital of Badghis province in the country's northwest left three police dead, provincial governor Abdul Ghafur Malikzai said.

Separately, Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate claimed Friday's suicide attack that killed 6 people.

Between January and March this year, air operations by Afghan and worldwide forces have caused at least 145 deaths, accounting for almost 25 percent of the total deaths during that period, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its quarterly report in April.

Police had surrounded the targeted building, said Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry spokesman.

The Resolute Support mission gave no further details and withheld the name of the service member until the next of kin were informed.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 25, 2019.

The Taliban insurgency said in a brief statement its fighters had planted a road side bomb in Sayedabad district of the eastern Afghan province of Wardak.

USA military statement announcing the killings of the US service members was a terse, two-paragraph announcement.

United States special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been holding peace talks with Taliban aimed at hammering out the details of a framework agreement reached in January.

Pompeo added that discussions with the Taliban have also begun on US troop withdrawal. The group often embellishes details of its attacks, including US casualty counts.

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