As Taliban forces continue to try to make inroads into the Helmand Province capital city of Lashkar Gah, a suicide car bomber attacked soldiers outside of a bank as they were arriving to collect their pay, parking next to a military vehicle and detonating.
The explosion killed seven people, including three soldiers. 20 other people were wounded, including four other soldiers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but it is a presumptive Taliban attack as they are so heavily active in the region.
Lashkar Gah is one of several provincial capitals around Afghanistan which the Taliban have been making advances toward over the last several months, with most recent US estimates suggesting the Afghan military only controls about 57% of the country’s territory at this point, the least amount they’ve held since the 2001 US invasion.
The US has deployed a growing number of Marines into the Helmand Province in recent months to try to prevent the Taliban from taking any more territory. The important agricultural province is also seen as the center of Afghanistan’s opium smuggling, and thus extremely valuable to whoever controls it.
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