U.S. troops were among the six North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) service members killed in a suicide attack Monday near a U.S.-run airfield in Afghanistan.
A suicide bomber crashed a motorcycle packed with explosives into a joint patrol of NATO and Afghan forces near Bagram Airfield, about 30 miles north of Kabul. Military officials told CNN U.S. troops were among the six service members killed, but did not disclose any identities or the number of U.S. victims.
“We’re deeply saddened by this loss,” Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner said in a statement according to CNN. “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident, especially during the holiday season.”
The attack remains under investigation and is the first major attack on a NATO military convoy since since Aug. 22 when three American contractors at NATO’s Resolute Support base in Kabul died in a suicide attack.
The attack comes just a day after Deputy Governor Mohammad Jan Rasulyar of Afghanistan’s southern region Helmand said his province was “on the brink” of falling to the Taliban, following days of intense fighting.
The U.S. Department of Defense further released a report last week saying Al-Qaeda is concentrated in the area where the attack took place.
“Al Qaeda activities remain focused on survival, regeneration, and planning and facilitating future attacks; they remain a threat to the United States and its interests,” the report said. “The organization has a sustained presence in Afghanistan primarily concentrated in the east and northeast.”
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