US National Guard soldier killed in operations against militants in eastern Afghanistan

August 17, 2017 10:30 pm

File photo shows American troops in .

A National Guard soldier has been killed during an anti-militant operation in eastern Afghanistan.
The US said Thursday that the soldier had been killed during a joint operation a day earlier against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
The Utah National Guard said in a statement that the battle in the Achin district of Nangarhar had also left several Afghan forces injured, along with seven other National Guardsmen, adding that all those injured were receiving medical treatment.
The statement did not elaborate on the identity of the slain American soldier and those wounded in the attack, saying details would be released after notifying the victims’ families.
The casualties are the latest in Afghanistan’s new campaign against Daesh, a terror group mainly operating in Iraq and Syria which has managed to gain a foothold in the war-torn country.
Daesh mostly recruits disgruntled militants from the Taliban, the most established militant group in Afghanistan which is reorganizing some 16 years after its ouster from power by a US-led invasion.
Afghan authorities said Thursday that a total of three civilians and 15 Afghan policemen were killed in three southern provinces in attacks by the Taliban that took place on Wednesday.
The civilian casualties were reported in Helmand, where a bomber tried to target a military base. Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attacker was killed in the blast while three other militants on foot were shot dead when guards opened fire on them. He said the explosion also left three Afghan forces injured.

An Afghan policeman holds rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) amid an ongoing battle with Taliban militants in the Gereshk district of Helmand province on July 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Seven policemen were killed and nine were wounded in two similar attacks by the Taliban on police checkpoints in two districts of Kandahar, said Zia Durani, spokesman for the provincial governor, adding that 19 Taliban forces were killed in the ensuing clashes.
Another attack by the Taliban on a police base in Zabul province killed eight policemen. Asif Tokhi, a police official, said the base, located along the Zabul-Kandahar highway, came under attack late on Wednesday and security was restored only in the following morning. He said three policemen were also wounded in the clashes, which left 12 Taliban militants killed.
The Taliban have yet to claim the multiple attacks in the south while there has been no confirmation of the casualties among the ranks of the group.
The renewed attacks by the Taliban militants, which have also inflicted casualties on the US forces, come amid fresh warnings by the group about the need for the US to fully withdraw its forces from Afghanistan after more than a decade and half of occupation.
US President Donald Trump has resisted repeated requests by the Pentagon to approve the deployment of another 4,000-strong US force to Afghanistan, which the US military says is needed to boost the so-called counter-terrorism operations in the country.
There are 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan, Washington claims they are advising and assisting the Afghan military in the fight against the Taliban and Daesh.
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