Bomb kills three United States soldiers in Afghanistan

Three US service members and a contractor have been killed by an improvised explosive device close to a major base near Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, the US military has said.

The Taliban effectively control half the country and launch daily attacks on the army and police.

The bomber struck as military personnel were conducting a security patrol near Bagram air base, a major air hub for foreign forces in Afghanistan, according Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for the US -led military command there.

According to Bagram district governor Abdul Shakoor Quddusi, a auto bomber attacked an armoured vehicle carrying foreign forces close to a gate to the base.

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Three other service members were injured, a statement from the military says. The Defense Department said it was withholding the names of the fallen Americans until 24 hours after their families had been notified, per normal Pentagon policy.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter, saying it was the result of a suicide bombing on a USA armored vehicle. The conflicting accounts could not be immediately reconciled.

There are 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan, many of whom train, advise and assist Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban.

He told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 27 that USA officials are trying to convince all parties, including Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and his government, to reach a reconciliation. "Both the Taliban and the government should move forward as Afghans".

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