US Soldier Killed in Taliban Indirect Fire Attack in Afghanistan

US Soldier Killed in Taliban Indirect Fire Attack in Afghanistan

Kirkpatrick died of "wounds received during an indirect fire attack", according to the Defense Department.

US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition troops are deployed in Helmand to train and advise Afghan security forces struggling against Taliban insurgents.

A 19-year-old US soldier has been killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan as he was taking part in counter-terror operations. Indirect fire is an attack with shells launched from a mortar. "The incident is under investigation".

Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, which deployed out of Fort Bliss, Texas earlier this year as part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel, the USA -led training and advising mission in Afghanistan.

The death rate is strikingly high compared to 2016, when a total of nine US troops were killed while supporting the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

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The United States has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan troops in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda. Soldiers returned fire after the explosion, killing two Taliban militants and wounding a few others. Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19.

About 300 U.S. Marines have been deployed to Helmand as part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel since April, a relatively tiny number compared to the more than 20,000 who were stationed in the province at the height of the war under President Obama.

The DOD announcement was devoid of details on the circumstances of the 19-year-old's death. "We will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers as we reflect on the sacrifice he and others have made to secure our freedoms and help make Afghanistan a better place".

At the end of the Obama administration, almost 1,500 USA troops were pulled from Afghanistan. Mattis has said that he will soon decide on the US troop numbers in consultation with President Donald Trump, who has given Mattis the authority to set the count without his approval. Afghan media reported dozens of airstrikes and ground raids in recent days against the Taliban in the district.

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