Two American soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Massoud Hossaini | AP

Two US defense officials told CNN that the US service members were killed during a partnered US-Afghan military operation in Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan.

KABUL, March 22 - Two U.S. service members were killed on Friday while conducting an operation in Afghanistan, a statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul said.

The names of the deceased are being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin are notified.

The statement did not specify the location of the combat or say who the soldiers were fighting.

President Donald Trump is now planning to withdraw at least half of the 14,000 troops that remain in Afghanistan, which represent the majority of NATO's force.

Marked area on map shows Kabul, Afghanistan.

Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even though the Taliban have held several rounds of talks with United States officials about a peace settlement.

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Thank you to the New Zealand Government and to all the wonderful people who have shown us that we matter and are not forgotten. Less than a week after the deadly mosque shootings in New Zealand, the prime minister there moved fast to change gun laws.

The Pentagon has recently been developing plans to withdraw up to half of the American forces still in the country while at the same time stepping up efforts and having the United States negotiate with the Taliban.

US representatives have been trying to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban to bring an end to America's longest war. A smaller number of US troops operate in Afghanistan under a counter-terrorism mission.

The deaths are the latest casualties to hit the worldwide coalition amid ongoing peace talks between Washington and the Taliban.

But he was unable to persuade the Taliban to launch talks with the Afghan government. Fraught negotiations continue between the US and Taliban delegates, and some 14,000 USA troops remain in the country.

It brings the total number of US service members killed this year in the country to four, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

Insurgent attacks on Afghan and worldwide security forces are common in Afghanistan, especially in the southern and eastern provinces where Taliban has a major presence.

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