Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion

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Three U.S. service members and one contractor were killed and three other U.S. troops were wounded Monday by an improvised explosive device near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, according to a news release from Operation Resolute Support.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, saying it was the result of a suicide bombing on a US armored vehicle.

The injured were evacuated and were receiving care, the Pentagon said.

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As the debates on peace and a future system in Afghanistan increases among Afghans around the country, a former Taliban member of the Taliban, Sayed Akbar Agha, said that the group "should not" insist on the reestablishment of an Islamic emirate system in the country as part of the peace process and that instead they should enter direct talks with the Afghan government.

Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said he supported USA efforts to pursue a cease-fire with the Taliban, who effectively control half of Afghanistan and have refused to negotiate with his government.

Abdullah spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday at the World Economic Forum in Jordan. He said Afghans want peace, but "they don't want to live the way that the Taliban want them to live". "Both the Taliban and the Army are brothers, so they should sit together and talk", said Gulzar, a tribal elder in Paktia.

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Col. Qais Mangal, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said Monday that at least 12 security forces have been killed in the last 48 hours, bringing the overall death toll to more than 40. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

(Sgt. Justin Updegraff/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, FILE) U.S. Soldiers with Task Force Iron maneuver an M-777 howitzer, so it can be towed into position at Bost Airfield, Afghanistan, June 10, 2017.

This is a developing story.

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