Ayaz Gul in Islamabad contributed to this report.
PENTAGON/ISLAMABAD — An attack outside Kabul, Afghanistan, has killed three U.S. service members, according to the U.S. military.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Army Col. David Butler told VOA a vehicle-borne bomb exploded near a convoy on a security patrol near Bagram Air Base, the largest U.S. military base in the country. The base is about 50 kilometers north of Kabul.
The U.S. military medically evacuated three other U.S. service members and a contractor who were wounded in the attack. Initial reports said the contractor was killed but the U.S. military said Tuesday the contractor, an Afghan citizen, is alive.
The spokesman for the Islamist insurgent group, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed the massive explosion “killed and injured 10 American invaders."
He added that three Afghan security personnel, including an important commander, were also among the dead. Taliban claims are often inflated for such attacks.
About 14,000 U.S. troops are supporting Afghan forces and conducting counterterror operations in Afghanistan.
The attack comes as U.S. representatives are working to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban to bring an end to America's longest war. U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said he had reached two “draft agreements” with Taliban representatives in Qatar last month.
To date, seven U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan this year.