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ARLINGTON, Va. — Nine soldiers killed Sunday while defending a small outpost in Afghanistan belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy.

About 200 insurgents stormed the outpost in Wanat, Afghanistan, but they were driven back by the much smaller force of defenders, according to media reports. U.S. and Afghan forces later abandoned the outpost.

On Wednesday, the Defense Department identified the fallen soldiers as:

1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom, 24, of Hawaii.Sgt. Israel Garcia, 24, of Long Beach, Calif.Cpl. Jonathan R. Ayers, 24, of Snellville, Ga.Cpl. Jason M. Bogar, 25, of Seattle, Wash.Cpl. Jason D. Hovater, 24, of Clinton, Tenn.Cpl. Matthew B. Phillips, 27, of Jasper, Ga.Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C.Cpl. Gunnar W. Zwilling, 20, of Florissant, Mo.Pfc. Sergio S. Abad, 21, of Morganfield, Ky."The enemy in Afghanistan has grown bolder, more sophisticated and more diverse," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones of those killed in the attack, and my best wishes go to those, American and Afghani, who were wounded."

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Mullen said the attack was sophisticated and well-planned. He said eight of the nine soldiers were killed in the same spot.

Asked if the outpost was undermanned at the time of the attack, Millen said no but added, "Clearly for the number of insurgents that were there, yes."


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