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Fourth US soldier dies after IED explosion in Afghanistan, Pentagon confirms

The city of Ghazni, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force/ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office/Released)
December 03, 2018

A U.S. soldier has died after being wounded in an IED explosion in Afghanistan that killed three other U.S. troops, the Pentagon announced Monday. He is the fourth service member to die from this IED blast.

Sgt. Jason Mitchell McClary, 24, from Export, Pa., died Dec. 2 in Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries from the IED explosion, the Defense Department said. He was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

The incident took place Nov. 27 in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Three U.S. troops had been killed in this incident. McClary was one of the service members initially reported injured.

The incident is under investigation, the Pentagon said.

Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, 25, from the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.; Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Va.; and Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Wash. have been identified. Ross and Emond were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

Three American service members and one contractor were initially reported injured in the attack in Ghazni.

The Taliban has reportedly claimed the attack and said the U.S. tank was “completely destroyed,” the Associated Press has reported.

Ghazni is located south of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital and is located strategically off Highway 1, which has been the main artery from Kabul to southern Afghanistan for thousands of years.

This attack comes just after another American death in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Army Ranger Sgt. Leandro Jasso, 25, was killed in what officials are now saying might have been friendly Afghan fire.

It had initially been reported that Jasso was critically wounded in a firefight with “enemy forces” in Nimruz Province, and he later died after being evacuated to Helmand Province.

Jasso marked the ninth American service member killed in action in Afghanistan in 2018.

His death also marked the second U.S. death in November, after Utah Mayor Brent Taylor, 39, was killed in an insider attack in Kabul on Nov. 3.

The 17-year war in Afghanistan began in 2001. The U.S. and NATO still provide support to Afghan forces, even though the formal combat mission was concluded in 2014.

There are approximately 15,000 American forces currently serving in Afghanistan, the AP has reported.