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Pentagon Identifies Service Members Killed In Afghanistan

An Afghan policeman stands guard near where a bomb struck a convoy in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing two U.S. soldiers on Wednesday.

Two soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a bomb on Wednesday and the incident is being investigated, according to the Pentagon.

The statement says 23-year-old Sgt. Jonathan Michael Hunter of Columbus, Ind., and 25-year-old Spc. Christopher Michael Harris of Jackson Springs, N.C., were killed by an improvised explosive device in a vehicle which exploded near their convoy.

A Pentagon official says four other U.S. service members were injured.

As we reported Wednesday, the Taliban claimed one of its militants carried out a suicide attack with a truck packed with explosives.

"As NPR's Tom Bowman notes, the Taliban rose to prominence first in Kandahar Province in the 1990s, but in recent years, U.S. and Afghan forces have largely pushed the militant group from the area.

"'The last American combat deaths in Kandahar were in 2014,' Tom says, 'but during the past year, the Taliban have made inroads once again in Kandahar.'

"The Pentagon is considering sending nearly 4,000 more troops to the country to train their Afghan counterparts, joining a U.S. contingent that currently numbers roughly 8,500."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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