The Department of Defense has identified three soldiers based in Hohenfels, Germany, who were killed last week when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Marc A. Arizmendez, 30, of Anaheim, Calif.; Spc. Roger Lee, 26, of Monterey, Calif.; and Pfc. Michael S. Pridham, 19, of Louisville, Ky., died from injuries sustained while on patrol Tuesday in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, a DOD news release said. All were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, according to the Friday announcement.

Information about memorial service arrangements at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels was unavailable Saturday.

So far, 24 coalition troops have been killed in July, which comes on the heels of the deadliest month of the war in Afghanistan. In June, 102 allied troops were killed in Afghanistan, double the number from May and more than the previous one-month high of 77 in August 2009, according to

Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander of all forces in Afghanistan, recently testified that the allies face an “industrial-strength insurgency” and that the situation is likely to become more violent in the months ahead.

In Arizmendez and Lee’s home state of California, capital flags were lowered to half staff in honor of the soldiers.

“They were courageous soldiers who faced danger every day to protect our freedoms,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement released by state officials. “During this difficult time, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these honorable men.”

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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