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US lawmakers want swift action after reports Russia paid Afghan militants to target coalition forces

Republican lawmakers on Monday confirmed that US intelligence has found that the Russian military offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to kill US and UK troops.

Some of the material was shared with members of Congress in a classified briefing at the White House, led by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

“It has been clear for some time that Russia does not wish us well in Afghanistan. We believe it is important to vigorously pursue any information related to Russia or any other country targeting our forces”, Representatives Mac Thornberry and Liz Cheney, who attended the meeting, said in a statement.

“If the intelligence review process verifies the reports, we strongly encourage the Administration to take swift and serious action to hold the Putin regime accountable”, Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Rep. Michael McCaul said in a statement.

The Kremlin on Monday dismissed the reports as “lies”.

There have been more than 2,400 total deaths of US service members since the start of the 18-year war. Last year was the deadliest in 5 years for the US in Afghanistan, with 23 service members killed during operations in the country.

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