USA soldier killed, 4 injured in E. Afghan province

AP									SOURCE AP

A U.S. service member was killed and four others were wounded Monday during an operation in a part of Afghanistan in which U.S. forces have been combating both the Islamic State and the Taliban, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

There are now about 14,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan to help the country's military battle the Taliban and ISIS. The others were able to go back into service.

General John Nicholson, commander of US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), paid tribute to the fallen soldier on Twitter, writing: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own".

He added: "At this very hard time our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of our fallen and wounded brothers". That same day, Nicholson also criticized Pakistan for not doing more to stop militants from crossing its borders and entering Afghanistan.

Fighting has been particularly fierce in the Nangarhar province, where several service members were killed past year.

US -backed Afghan forces have been fighting the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.

American and Afghan special forces troops have been carrying out secret missions against ISIS in the province, the Times reported in September. "This year, more American soldiers are expected to head out on operations with Afghan units against the Taliban".

There are around 14,000 United States troops in Afghanistan as part of the Trump administration's South Asia strategy.

An estimated 14,000 US service members are now based in Afghanistan, according to ABC News.

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