U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan firefight
Near-daily clashes with insurgents claimed another U.S. soldier Sunday, U.S. military officials said Monday.
One U.S. soldier was killed and another was wounded during a firefight near Shinkay, according a CJTF-76 statement.
The death brought to 201 the number of U.S. troops killed in and around Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces invaded in late 2001 to oust the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The soldiers were part of a joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers that “was conducting offensive operations … when they were attacked with small arms and fragmentation grenades,” officials said.
“This is a sad and tragic moment for us all. The soldiers serving here in Afghanistan are fighting on the very edge of freedom’s blade, and the loss of anyone is a deep and painful event,” Brig. Gen. Jack Sterling, CJTF-76 deputy commander, said in the statement.
The names and units of the soldiers are being withheld until family notifications are complete.
In a second firefight in Kunar province, militants attacked a patrol, wounding two U.S. troops Monday, a separate military statement said.
Also, a U.S. Marine was treated and released Sunday for internal injuries suffered when a roadside bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province.
The attack occurred early Sunday morning against a Marine convoy from Forward Operating Base Asadabad, from where Marines with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, operate.
The blast happened in an area of Kunar province where roadside bombs have been planted before, according to a Company E official. The convoy was getting ready to stop and sweep the area for roadside bombs when the blast occurred, the official said.
The blast struck an armored Humvee, and only one of the Marines in the vehicle was injured. The wounded Marine was airlifted to Forward Operating Base Asadabad before being transported to Bagram Airfield for X-rays. The Humvee was destroyed in the explosion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.