August 24, 2016

Carter: U.S. Servicemember’s death shows more work lies ahead

An improvised explosive device killed a U.S. service member near Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan’s Helmand province Aug. 23, and wounded another U.S. service member and six Afghan soldiers, officials of NATO’s Resolute Support mission said.

In a statement announcing the incident, officials said the service member was killed conducting activities with Afghan counterparts under NATO authorities when their patrol triggered the IED.

“I was deeply saddened to learn one of our service members was killed today and another wounded while engaged in our mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “Six Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the IED blast. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the service member killed and all those injured.”

An investigation is being conducted to determine the exact circumstances of the event, Resolute Support officials said, adding that the wounded U.S. service member was in stable condition.

Difficult work ahead
“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,” Carter said in his 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.”

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of Resolute Support and of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, also offered condolences.

“On behalf of all of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, as well as Resolute Support, our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of those involved,” he said. “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 identity of the service member killed in the incident is being withheld, pending next-of-kin notification.

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