1 US service member killed, 2 wounded in Afghanistan

American Casualties Sustained Afghanistan: Report
American Casualties Sustained Afghanistan: Report

One U.S. service member died and two others were wounded during operations in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.

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The Department of Defense did not name the casualties, saying only that the incident took place near Marjah in Helmand Province.

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American defense officials told NBC News that U.S. Special Operations Forces were involved in a counter-terrorism operation in the Marjah area of Helmand province when they came under attack.

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U.S.-backed forces have been fighting to suppress the Taliban in Marjah for weeks. A spokesman for the Taliban -- which frequently exaggerates its claims -- said Tuesday the group had shot down a U.S. transport helicopter in Helmand.

In early December, insurgents launched a major offensive to take control of key districts in Helmand, a longstanding Taliban stronghold and the source of most of the opium that helps fund the movement.

Afghanistan has had a tense and violent start to the new year, as talks to revive the peace process loom next week. The winter in Afghanistan usually sees a lull in insurgent violence.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a Monday car bomb attack on a compound for civilian contractors near the Kabul airport, hours after another suicide bomber blew himself up. And on Friday, a suicide bomber attacked a French restaurant popular with foreigners in Kabul, killing two people and injuring 18 others.

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