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22-year-old US soldier killed in Afghanistan is identified

Spc. Gabriel David Conde, 22, was killed in action in Afghanistan. (United States Army)
May 02, 2018

A U.S. Army soldier was killed in combat Monday in Afghanistan by “enemy small arms fire,” according to U.S. military officials.

The Pentagon identified the solider as Spc. Gabriel Conde, 22, from Loveland, Colorado. Conde was based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.

Conde was an airborne infantryman deployed to Afghanistan in September 2017.

He was with the Anchorage-based 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, known as the 4-25.

Conde was one of 2,500 soldiers from the 4-25 who left Anchorage for Afghanistan last year as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the U.S. counterterrorism mission there.

U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said in a statement that Conde was killed in Afghanistan’s Tagab district following enemy fire from a rifle. No further details could be given about the circumstances surrounding Conde’s death, and the incident is still under investigation, Pennell said.

Another U.S. service member was wounded in the same incident and medically evacuated to Bagram Airfield north of Kabul for treatment in a military hospital.

Conde is the first solider from the 4-25 division killed in combat during the current deployment, and the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan this year.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker paid his respects to Conde’s service in a tweet on Tuesday. Walker also ordered all United States and Alaska state flags be immediately lowered to half-staff until sunset on Friday.

“Specialist Conde’s service and sacrifice to his country is worthy of our highest respect. We express our deepest sympathies to his family, community, and brigade. Byron, Toni, Donna, and I are holding them in our prayers,” the governor said.

Conde’s death occurred during a particularly brutal week in Afghanistan, following twin bombings in Kabul that targeted civilians. In total, 31 people, including 10 journals, were killed.

A suicide bombing targeting a military convoy in Kandahar province also wounded eight Romanian service members and killed a number of children who were nearby, Coalition military officials said.