One member of the US military has been killed and four were injured during a “combat engagement” in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on New Year’s Day, the military said.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,”said General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan. “At this very difficult time our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of our fallen and wounded brothers.”
Two of the injured soldiers have already returned to duty, while two others are still being treated at a nearby hospital. They remain in stable condition, US forces in Afghanistan said.
Following a policy change in July 2017, US forces in Afghanistan have delayed casualty reports pending the notification of the service member’s next of kin. It now takes up to several days for the names of the killed to be made public.
The incident took place in Achin, the district considered a stronghold of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Afghanistan. General Nicholson ordered the use of a Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) last April against IS positions in Achin.
US and Afghan forces have been heavily engaged against both Taliban and IS forces in Nangarhar province since the New Year, local media reported. Afghan media spoke of several US airstrikes in Bati Kot, Ambar Khan and Achin on Monday.
Dozens of IS militants have been killed in an offensive launched by Afghan security forces in Nangarhar and Jawzjan provinces, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported citing local Afghan officials.
In the Haska Mina district of Nangarhar, some 60 IS militants were killed and 18 wounded this week, according to government spokesman Attaullah Khogiani. Drone strikes in the Darzab district of Jawzjan on Tuesday morning killed 26 IS fighters, including seven foreigners, police chief Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani told Xinhua.