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U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan

An American flag hangs at half mast. (Wikimedia)

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

The U.S. Army says one of its service members has been killed in Afghanistan, taking the number of U.S. soldiers to die in the war-torn country this year to nine.

In its November 24 statement, the military did not provide further details on the soldier’s identity or the time or place of death.

Some 14,000 U.S. soldiers are currently serving in Afghanistan, where the United States and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in 2014.

The remaining Western forces mainly train and advise the Afghan security forces, which have been struggling to counter attacks from a resurgent Taliban and other militant groups.

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International forces have suffered from “insider attacks” in recent months, in which members of Afghan security forces turn their weapons on international soldiers with whom they are working.

On November 3, a U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded in an apparent “green-on-blue” attack in the capital, Kabul. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Taliban claimed two similar attacks in the western province of Herat and the southern province of Kandahar last month.

General Scott Miller, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, narrowly escaped the latter attack that killed the powerful police chief and intelligence head of Kandahar Province.

Since the start of 2015, 58 Americans have been killed, President Ashraf Ghani said earlier this month.

During the same period, close to 29,000 Afghan police and soldiers have died, Ghani said — a figure far higher than anything previously acknowledged by the government.