Two US servicemen killed in Afghanistan: Pentagon

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The Pentagon said on Wednesday that two US servicemen were killed in Afghanistan when their convoy was attacked. "I can confirm that two US servicemen were killed in action in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when their convoy came under attack," Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis told reporters, Xinhua news agency reported. "US Forces Afghanistan will provide additional information as it becomes available," he added. The casualties came as US President Donald Trump was mulling over increasing US troops there. Former US President Barack Obama had planned to reduce the current number of 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan to around 5,500 by the end of 2015 and withdraw all troops by the end of 2016 when his presidency came to an end. However, given the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the Obama administration repeatedly postponed the withdrawal. Currently, there are about 8,400 US troops and another 5,000 forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the ground in Afghanistan to train and assist the Afghan forces against the Taliban, and conduct counter-terrorism missions. The new casualties also came at a time when senior US officials warned of dire security situation in Afghanistan. In a congressional hearing in June, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that United States was still "not winning" the longest US war in Afghanistan. US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats also warned in May that the security situation in Afghanistan would most likely deteriorate in the future even if the United States and its allies offer more military aid.