US service member killed in Kabul suicide car bomb attack

Service member from Romania also killed

By Barbara Starr and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
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(CNN) - A US service member was killed in a suicide car bomb attack Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, at a checkpoint near NATO headquarters and the US embassy, a US military official with direct knowledge of the incident said.

Another service member from Romania also was killed, the NATO-led coalition announced in a statement.

The attack did not penetrate the security perimeter, the official said.

No other details were immediately available. The identity of the American will not be released until 24 hours after next of kin has been notified.

The US death is the 16th US service member to be killed in Afghanistan in 2019, and three other American service members have been killed in recent weeks.

"Appalled by the terrorist attack in Afghanistan, in which a Romanian soldier lost his life, the second attack this week resulting in the killing of a Romanian citizen," Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Twitter Thursday. "Condolences to the families of the victims."

The attack comes as the US and the Taliban are close to a peace deal.

The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, told Afghanistan's TOLOnews on Monday that the US and the Taliban have reached an agreement "in principle," pending final approval by President Donald Trump.

Khalilzad said, based on the draft agreement, the US will pull troops from five bases across Afghanistan within 135 days so long as the Taliban meet conditions set in the agreement.

The US troop withdrawals could mark the beginning of the end of America's longest running war, a nearly 18-year conflict triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that has cost billions in taxpayer dollars and cost more than 2,300 American lives.

CNN's Nicole Gaouette and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.

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