A Taliban suicide attacker on a motorcycle full of explosives slammed into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol today, killing six US troops, according to defense officials. Three other NATO troops were injured, though their nationalities have not been disclosed. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in Parwan Province.
The patrol was not far from the Bagram air base, in a neighboring village. This was the first Taliban attack on a NATO military convoy since August, when three US Contractors were killed in the capital city of Kabul.
The Taliban claimed today’s attack was part of their 2015 spring offensive, and that 19 troops were killed. There is no indication, however, that there were more than six deaths.
The Taliban has been gaining more territory across Afghanistan in recent months, most recently regaining some of the most valuable parts of the Helmand Province. They’ve also launched several high-profile attacks in the past few weeks, including attacks in Kabul and Kandahar.
Despite reports of an ongoing leadership battle within the Taliban, as well as a growing ISIS affiliate which is primarily attacking the Taliban to try to gain territory from them, the Taliban insurgency appears at least as strong now as it was 15 years ago, in the wake of the US-led invasion.