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DOD identifies US soldier stabbed to death near Kabul airport

The Pentagon identified a U.S. soldier stabbed to death in Kabul this week.

Sgt. 1st Class Matthew I. Leggett, of Ruskin, Fla., died Wednesday after he was stabbed near the Kabul airport, Afghan police and government spokesmen said. The incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. on Bemarou Road, district police chief Najeebullah Samsur said. The assailant was arrested.

Leggett, who was on guard duty at the time, was stabbed in the neck, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

Also on Friday, the NATO-led military coalition in Afghanistan announced the death of a servicemember from a “non-battle injury” in the country’s east. A news release from the International Security Assistance Force did not provide details or identify the person. Coalition members typically announce the deaths of their own troops. 

Leggett’s death is the 39th this year of a U.S. troop in Afghanistan, according to a count by The Associated Press. The ISAF servicemember’s death is the 53rd this year for the coalition.

While casualty rates for ISAF servicemembers have fallen in recent years as Afghan security forces assume more of the fighting against insurgents, ISAF servicemembers still work closely with Afghan forces and patrol their own bases.

Roughly 44,000 international troops remain in Afghanistan — nearly 30,000 of them Americans — as the coalition prepares to end its combat mission this year. NATO plans call for a residual training-and-advising force to remain after 2014, pending agreements with the government.

news@stripes.com

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