The military has reportedly launched an investigation into two U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman stationed in Iraq in connection with the death of an American civilian contractor.
The contractor, an employee of Lockheed Martin, was injured during a fight on New Year’s Eve in the city of Ebril and evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, officials told the New York Times.
The victim, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead on Jan. 4.
Lockheed Martin in a statement said it was “saddened to learn of the loss of one of our employees, who was fatally injured while supporting Special Operations Forces within the Operation Inherent Resolve area of operations in a noncombat-related incident.”
Lockheed added it is “supporting the Naval Criminal Investigation Service as they conduct an investigation into the circumstances of his death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, and we are committed to supporting them during this difficult time.”
Neither the sailor nor the Marines have been detained amid the investigation and remain on duty in Iraq, two officials told NBC News. They are all assigned to a Marine Special Operations Unit, a small group of troops deployed in Iraq to serve as advisers for the Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
Maj. Nicholas Mannweiler, a spokesperson for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command said it was “aware of the non-combat related death of a contractor supporting a forward-deployed MARSOC Unit in the Operation Inherent Resolve theater of Operations. MARSOC is providing all requested support to investigators as they look into this incident.”
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