(CBS News) KILLEEN, Texas — The war in Afghanistan is winding down, but Americans are still fighting and dying there. Four were killed on the very day last month that the U.S. handed control of the country’s security to the Afghan army and police. Among them: Ember Alt.
Charles Alt was in Afghanistan working as a civilian contractor when he got the call about his daughter, 21-year-old Army Spc. Ember Alt. She was stationed in Afghanistan, too, just a couple of hours away from him.
“They took me to the mortuary, and I viewed the body, and I didn’t want to believe what I saw,” he remembers. “They told me she was killed from a rocket attack. … They told me she didn’t suffer at all, which was a big relief.”
Spc. Alt had worked as a mechanic at Bagram Air Base.
“She told me a couple of times that it is scary out there, but she also said she knew what her job was,” Charles Alt says. “And she had to do her job to the best of her ability.”
There was a special tribute to Alt by her fellow soldiers at Bagram before her father accompanied her home.
“Felt like the longest flight of my life,” he says. “But I am thankful that I was over there to be able to escort her home. To bring my little girl home.”
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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN | The Taliban claimed responsibility Wednesday for an attack in Afghanistan that killed four American troops just hours after the insurgent group announced it would hold talks with the U.S. on finding a political solution to ending the nearly 12-year war in the country.
The deadly attack underscores the challenges ahead in trying to end the violence roiling Afghanistan via peace negotiations in Qatar with militants still fighting on the ground.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the insurgents fired two rockets into the Bagram Air Base outside the Afghan capital, Kabul, late on Tuesday. American officials confirmed the base had come under attack by indirect fire — likely a mortar or rocket — and that four U.S. troops were killed.
The attack came as the Taliban opened a political office in the Qatari capital of Doha, and announced they were ready for peace talks. The decision was a reversal of months of failed efforts to start negotiations while Taliban militants intensified a campaign targeting urban centers and government installations across Afghanistan.
Afghan military officially takes control of country’s security
President Obama’s plan for leaving Afghanistan reached a new milestone Tuesday as the Afghan military officially took responsibility for the country’s security. The White House also said it would try again to hold peace talks with the Taliban. Major Garrett reports.
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