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THE STANS
US soldier killed in Afghanistan's Helmand
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 5, 2017


A US soldier has been killed and two others wounded in an attack in Afghanistan's Helmand province while conducting operations against the Taliban, US military officials said Wednesday.

Private First Class Hansen Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska died Monday following the "indirect fire" assault, which means he was hit by a mortar or some other incoming round.

The wounds sustained by the two soldiers were not considered life threatening, and they were being treated at a coalition medical facility, US Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the soldiers had been conducting an off-base operation with partnered Afghan security forces when they came under fire.

It was "presumably" a Taliban attack, he said.

"No reason to believe it's anything other than that," Davis added, noting that the incident occurred in the Nawah district of Helmand.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is expected to present President Donald Trump this month with a revamped Afghanistan strategy aimed at breaking a stalemate with the Taliban.

Currently about 8,400 US troops are in Afghanistan along with about 5,000 NATO forces.

Mattis is weighing deploying thousands of additional troops to work with more Afghan combat units.

THE STANS
Mattis says NATO must finish the job in Afghanistan
Brussels (AFP) June 29, 2017
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis told NATO allies Thursday they must finish the job in Afghanistan or risk terrorist revenge as the alliance readied a troop increase to counter a resurgent Taliban. Mattis however refused to give a firm number for how many troops US President Donald Trump would commit under a new strategy, just two years after NATO officially ended its post-9/11 combat role in Afgha ... read more

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