Three U.S. Service Members Killed by Car Bomb in Afghanistan

Three American service members died in Afghanistan after their military convoy was struck by a suicide bomber on Monday. The attack brings the American death toll to seven this year as the spring fighting season intensifies amid the volatile U.S.-Taliban peace talks.

The Defense Department did not identify the names of the service members killed, according to agency policy, because next-of-kin notifications were not complete.

Three other U.S. service members were wounded in the attack, which occurred late Monday evening near one of Bagram Airfield's gates, Resolute Support command in a statement.

Wounded service members were evacuated and are receiving medical care, the statement added.

Monday's statement also indicated a contractor had been killed alongside the three American service members, but a follow-up statement released Tuesday said the contractor, an Afghan citizen, is alive and was treated along with the other injured forces.

"We feel and mourn the loss of these Americans with their families and loved ones," said U.S. Army General Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. "They volunteered to protect their country. We will continue our mission."

Two Defense Department officials and Resolute Support told Newsweek the convoy was hit by vehicle rigged with explosives, or what's known as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan confirmed that the improvised explosive device was delivered by vehicle but was unable to provide other details about the bombing.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter and said a "martyrdom seeker" destroyed an armored personnel carrier and killed or wounded several foreign troops.

Bagram Airfield is the largest U.S. military installation in Afghanistan and is home to thousands of U.S. and allied troops and contractors. Both foot and vehicles patrols are run out of the base, located roughly 25 miles from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

The area around the blast was cordoned off, and no civilians were hurt, said Abdul Shakoor Qudoosi, the local district governor, in an interview with Stars and Stripes, the American military's independent newspaper.

Throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, militants have used everything from donkey carts to ambulances to deliver devastating strikes against U.S. and coalition forces. The U.S. military considers a suicide bomber to be the ultimate precision smart bomb because the attacker can assess a situation and change plans at a moment's notice.

Editor's note: On Tuesday, Resolute Support corrected its statement from Monday about the deadly attack outside Bagram Airfield, specifically indicating that the contractor, an Afghan national, is not dead, as indicated on Monday. Also, General Scott Miller, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, provided a statement on the attack. This article has been updated.