National Security

American Service Member Killed in Afghanistan

U.S. service members at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2014 / AP
U.S. service members at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in 2014 / AP

An American service member was killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on Tuesday, the U.S. military confirmed in a statement.

The service member, who the Pentagon has not yet identified, was killed and seven others were wounded when their patrol triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) near Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, according to a statement released by the the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

A second U.S. service member was injured in the incident as well as six Afghan troops. An investigation has been commenced to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, the statement said.

The fallen service member was on a train, advise, and assist mission in Lashkar Gah. The Pentagon said on Monday that it had sent roughly 100 American troops to advise and assist Afghan security forces in the provincial capital, which has endured increased Taliban activity and is in danger of falling to insurgents.

"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," Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by this loss, but remain committed to helping our Afghan partners provide a brighter future for themselves and their children."

The Pentagon will release more information about the fallen service member after notifying the next-of-kin.

This represents the second death of a U.S. service member in Afghanistan this year. Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock was killed during a joint U.S.-Afghan operation near Marjah in Helmand Province in January after his unit came under fire from insurgents.