19-Year-Old US Soldier Killed In Afghanistan Day Before Independence Day

Pfc Hansen Kirkpatrick was killed in action on July 3. Image U.S. Army

Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska, died July 3, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from wounds received during an indirect fire attack. Kirkpatrick was assigned to the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division, which is based in Fort Bliss, Texas. Their wounds aren't considered life-threatening and they're being treated at a coalition medical facility.

Soldiers returned fire after the explosion, killing two Taliban militants and wounding a few others.

Nawa District, just outside Lashkar Gah, fell to the Taliban a year ago, and the Afghan forces advised by the Marines have been preparing an operation to retake the district. Helmand province is an active site of USA operations supporting the Afghan National Security Forces in the fight against the Taliban. The Pentagon said the incident is under investigation.

Despite almost 16 years of war, the Taliban has made inroads in several areas of the country. Afghan media reported dozens of airstrikes and ground raids in recent days against the Taliban in the district.

The previous USA military fatalities in Afghanistan this year included three conventional US soldiers - Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29; and Cpl.

Two other service members were wounded in Monday's attack in Helmand province, according to a statement from the United States Armed Forces-Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.

U.S. Army soldiers rest next to a canal while conducting a patrol during Operation Helmand Spider in Badula Qulp in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 15, 2010. The training includes increasing the number of Afghan commandos and building up the Afghan Air Force. The senators held a press conference in Afghanistan, where they called on the Donald Trump administration to fill vacant embassy and State Department positions to better address the country's military and political crises. The addition of three to five thousand more troops makes up for that move, according to US officials.

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