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HomeNewsWorldOne U.S. Soldier Dead, Two Wounded by Afghan Taliban in Helmand Province

One U.S. Soldier Dead, Two Wounded by Afghan Taliban in Helmand Province

American soldiers Afghanistan
American soldiers Afghanistan

FILE – In this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 file photo, U.S. Army soldiers stand with Afghan policemen before a joint patrol of Qalanderkhail, outside of Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. An Afghan official says that a suicide bomber has killed three foreign troops in an attack on a joint Afghan-NATO foot patrol on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. (Photo: AP/Maya Alleruzzo)

At least one U.S. special operations soldier is dead and two are wounded in an attack by the Taliban in Helmand province Afghanistan Tuesday, PPD confirms. Pentagon officials confirmed that one of the wounded was a member of the helicopter extraction team which came under heavy mortar fire and is now grounded in the hostile area.

The unidentified U.S. special operations soldier is the first American serviceman to lose his life in Afghanistan this year.

A source in the Defense Department tells PPD that forces are mobilizing to rescue the remaining U.S. operators and extraction team. The attack follows a suicide bombing that killed six American soldiers and wounded three NATO troops near the U.S.-run Bagram Airfield in December. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, which was the largest attack on foreign troops in Afghanistan since August.

However, the presence of the Islamic State in Afghanistan has grown and obfuscated the opposition to U.S.-backed forces in the government. Not only are the Taliban making a comeback in Parwan, Helmand and other provinces, but foreign fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and other regions have been pouring into the country. Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said among the insurgent forces fighting in Helmand, which is an opium haven for Islamists, “three out of 10 are foreign fighters.”

Muhammad Kareem Atal, the head of Helmand’s provincial council, reenforced Waziri’s concerning account of the realities on the ground.

“Around 65 percent of Helmand is now under Taliban control,” Atal said. “In every district either we are stepping back or we are handing territory over to Taliban, but still, until now, no serious action has been taken.”

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