By John Wesley Reid | January 13, 2020

Two U.S. Army soldiers were killed and two were injured when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb, the Pentagon has confirmed.

Officials have identified the deceased as Staff Sergeant Ian P. McLaughlin, 29, and Private First Class Miguel A. Villalon, 21.

A spokesman for the Taliban confirmed responsibility for the southern Kandahar province attack.

Related: With Ceasefire Agreement, Trump Could Be on Verge of Major Victory

This attack follows the deadliest year in Afghanistan for U.S. troops since 2014 with 23 casualties reported. Washington has been in sparse dialogue with Taliban leaders in attempts to negotiate a cease-fire agreement but no agreement has been finalized. While the Taliban did agree to a temporary cease-fire in December, they never said when the cease-fire would begin, and required approval by their leader Maulvi Hibatullah Akhundzada has yet to be confirmed.

Saturday’s attack in Kandahar province could indicate a disinterest in cease-fire negotiations from Taliban leaders.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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