A U.S. service member died Thursday of wounds sustained during a combat operation in eastern Afghanistan.

An Afghan security force member was also killed, and several more were wounded during the engagment, according to a Pentagon statement.

The service member’s name and unit information is being withheld until 24 hours after his family has been notified. The Defense Department said additional information will be released at that time.

The loss is the second combat-related death in Afghanistan this week.

Cpl. Joseph Maciel, 20, died Saturday in Tarin Kowt district in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province during an apparent insider attack. Two other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the attack, which is under investigation. Maciel was an infantryman assigned to 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, at Fort Benning, Georgia.


Another U.S. soldier was killed in eastern Afghanistan in early May.

Spc. Gabriel Conde, 22, an infantryman assigned to 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, was killed by small arms fire in Tagab district, located in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province, the Pentagon said at the time.

The service members' deaths occured in the spring and summer months commonly known as the “fighting season," due to a marked increase in Taliban activity.

Additionally, the deaths occur at a time when the Pentagon is ramping up operations in Afghanistan in order to pressure the Taliban to negotiate a peace settlement with the internationally recognized Afghan government.


Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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