July 5, 2017
One US soldier has been killed and two others have been wounded in a fresh attack on foreign forces in southern Afghanistan.
The US military said on Wednesday that Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, an army soldier, was killed two days earlier when he and other troops came under indirect fire in Helmand province.
“… we are saddened by the loss of one of our comrades who was here protecting our freedom at home,” said General John Nicholson, the commander of US Forces-Afghanistan, according to a statement.
It said the soldier was 19 and from Wasilla, Alaska. He was identified as a member of the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. It added that the two other soldiers injured in the attack were being treated in a medical facility operated by coalition forces in the area for wounds that the statement said were not life-threatening.
There was no information who might be responsible for the attack, although such assaults are routinely blamed on the Taliban, the main militant group that controls large parts of Helmand. The group, the target of a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, has managed to gain more footholds across the country over the past years and is thought to be in control of at least 40 percent of territories.
The United States and other foreign troops have suffered growing casualties in attacks by the Taliban and others in Afghanistan in the recent past. Washington is considering sending a 4,000-strong reinforcement to Afghanistan, one year after it officially ended its 15-year combat mission in the country. There are about 13,000 US and allied troops deployed in Afghanistan while several thousand additional American forces work in the country as part of the so-called counterterrorism operations.