US service member killed by IED in Afghanistan

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of Resolute Support and United States Forces Afghanistan, updates reporters on operations in Afghanistan, July 28, 2016.

A US service member has been killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on Tuesday, according to coalition officials.

The service member was part of the existing 500 troops already in Helmand Province working on train, advise, and assist activities with Afghan counterparts under NATO authorities.

The blast that claimed the life of the servicemember, who has yet to be identified, injured another service member and six Afghan soldiers.

“On behalf of all U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, as well as Resolute Support, our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of those involved,” said Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of USFOR-A and Operation Resolute Support. “We are deeply saddened by this loss, but remain committed to helping our Afghan partners provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.”

“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country,” Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan and our NATO partners to bolster the capabilities of the [Afghan national defense and security forces] so they can provide the people of Afghanistan the peace they deserve.”

An investigation is being conducted to determine the exact circumstances of the event, according to NATO. The identity of the service member will be released after the next-of-kin have been notified.

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