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NATO: US servicemember killed in Afghanistan, at least sixth this year

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Daniel Hopping, an assaultman with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, shields himself from dust being kicked up from a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter lifting off April 28, 2014, during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan. The company's mission was to disrupt Taliban forces in Larr village and establish a presence in the area. (Cpl. Joseph Scanlan/Department of Defense)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

NATO says a U.S. military member in Afghanistan has been killed, at least the sixth American fatality this year amid a sharp uptick in fighting by Taliban and other militants.

statement released by the alliance’s Resolute Support mission said the unnamed person was killed on October 4 but did not provide further information, saying the incident was under investigation.

Taliban militants, meanwhile, claimed on October 4 that they had blown up a U.S. armored vehicle in southern Helmand Province, killing the soldiers on board. The claim could not be confirmed and it was not clear if the incidents were related.

At least six U.S. servicemen have been killed in the country in 2018, either during combat or in so-called insider attacks by members of the Afghan forces.

Around 14,000 U.S. troops are currently in the country, where the Western-backed government in Kabul is struggling to fend off offensives by the Taliban and other militants.

While U.S. forces are largely taking the lead in helping Afghan forces battle militants, the NATO mission is aimed at training, advising, and assisting Afghan defense and security forces.

It was established in January 2015 as NATO handed over active combat operations over to the Afghans.