Flashpoints

3 Czech service members killed, 1 American injured in Afghanistan attack

KABUL, Afghanistan — A Taliban suicide bomber killed three NATO forces on a foot patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday in an attack that also wounded a U.S. service member and two Afghan troops, NATO said in a statement.

The Czech military confirmed that the three killed were Czech service members.

The Taliban claimed the attack, which took place near Charakar, the provincial capital of the Parwan province.

"My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all of the 41-contributing Resolute Support nations, are with the families and friends of our fallen and wounded service members, and our injured Afghan brothers and their families," said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. "Their sacrifice will endure in both our hearts and history, and further strengthen our resolve."

Czech Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar also offered his condolences. The Czechs had recently approved a plan to deploy 390 soldiers in Afghanistan through 2020, up from the current 230, as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

“The tragic death of our three soldiers has hit me very much, and I want to express my deep condolences to all families and loved ones,” said Metnar.

Czech Republic President Miloš Zema also expressed sympathy to the relatives of the victims, but said the incident should not discourage the fight against international terrorism.

NATO formally concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but some 16,000 U.S. and other NATO troops are providing support and training to Afghan forces and carrying out counterterrorism missions.

Last month, the Taliban struck a NATO convoy with a suicide car bomb in the eastern Logar province. The attack killed two civilians and damaged a NATO vehicle.

In this July 1, 2018, photo, police and firemen work at the site of a deadly suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. A top Army leader says it's too early to tell if training or other changes must be made in light of an insider attack in Afghanistan that killed one American soldier and wounded two others, amid uncertainty on whether the assailant was just a disgruntled Afghan soldier or an insurgent infiltrator. (AP)
Army ponders changes after insider attack in Afghanistan

It’s too early to tell if training or other changes must be made in light of an insider attack in Afghanistan that killed one American soldier and wounded two others, because there’s some uncertainty about whether the assailant was a disgruntled Afghan soldier or an insurgent infiltrator, the Army’s top officer says.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a newly constructed district headquarters in the southern Uruzgan province early Saturday, killing four Afghan soldiers, according to Mohammad Maruf Ahmadzai, the provincial police chief. He said nine Taliban fighters were killed in the ensuing gunbattle.

The Taliban claimed the attack and said they captured soldiers alive.

Both the Taliban and a local Islamic State affiliate regularly target Afghan security forces. The ISIS affiliate has also carried out several attacks targeting the country’s Shiite minority. On Sunday, ISIS claimed a suicide attack two days earlier on a mosque in the city of Gardez, south of Kabul. The attack killed at least 29 people and wounded another 81.

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