The US maintains roughly 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, which mostly provide training missions to local Afghan forces while also conducting counterterrorism operations against terror groups. McLaughlin and Pfc. Villalon replied without hesitation. "They lived their motto "Essayons" and embodied the values of the all-American engineer".
A blast in Kandhar province, south of Afghanistan, killed two US (US) soldiers and two other soldiers are said to be injured.
U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Michael James Goble, 33, a Special Forces soldier, took last year's death toll to twenty.
The incident follows bomb attacks by the Taliban last month, including one near Bagram Airfield on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul. "They will be honored, mourning, but never forgotten, and we are committed to taking care of their families for their lives".
In September, President Trump declared the initial agreement between the two sides "dead" after a vehicle bomb in capital Kabul killed an American soldier and 11 others.
He joined the Army in 2018 and, after completing basic combat training and advanced individual training in 2019, at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, he was assigned to Fort Bragg where he served as a combat engineer.
A Taliban spokesman said it occurred in the southern Kandahar province. US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is waiting to hear if the Taliban will agree to a temporary ceasefire, which could open the door for the withdrawal of some American troops.
Between 12,000 and 13,000 USA troops are now serving in Afghanistan as part of a US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces.
In December, the USA negotiation team said they would take a break in the peace talks when militants carried out an attack on Bagram airbase, a major U.S. base in Afghanistan, but later resumed peace talks.