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Suicide attack wounds US troops in Afghanistan on anniversary of 9/11

Five US troops received non-life threatening injuries in Afghanistan Monday when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber, an official with the NATO-led military coalition in Afghanistan told CNN.

The official said that six coalition troops were wounded in the bombing including the five US soldiers and a service member from a coalition member country that has yet to release any information publicly. The official described the injuries sustained as minor, saying all coalition personnel were in a stable condition.

The convoy was attacked near Bagram Airfield on Monday, according to a statement from the NATO-led coalition, Operation Resolute Support.

“A small number of Resolute Support service members and Afghan civilians were wounded today when a suicide attacker targeted their convoy with a vehicle borne improvised explosive device near the village of Qal’eh-ye Musa Bala in Parwan Province,” according to a statement released by the coalition.

The statement added that the wounded service members were receiving medical attention at the base hospital and that “none of the injuries are considered life threatening.”

The official who spoke to CNN said the coalition troops were conducting a routine patrol and that the suicide bomber was sitting in a parked car that their patrol had passed when the bomb was detonated.

There are currently about 11,000 US troops in Afghanistan and Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters late last month that he had ordered additional US military forces there.

Multiple officials say that several thousand additional US troops will be deployed to Afghanistan in order to help advise Afghan forces as part of a new strategy unveiled last month.

Nearly 16 years after the US led a coalition there to topple the Taliban from power, NATO-led forces and the Afghanistan government have struggled to stabilize the country and push back against pressure from militants like the Taliban and ISIS.

The new strategy and enduring commitment is aimed at bolstering the Afghan-led fight against extremist groups in the region.

“Each of us will walk away from this simple ceremony reminded that the war is not over and that further sacrifice will be required,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Monday at a Pentagon ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The ceremony was also attended by President Donald Trump who referenced America’s enduring military effort to combat terrorist groups in the region.

“We’re ensuring that they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country. We are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large Earth,” Trump said.