A U.S. serviceman was killed during an apparent insider attack by an Afghan national soldier, according to the Pentagon.
Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel died on July 7 from an attack that wounded at least two other servicemen stationed in Tarin Kowt, an airfield in Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
Maciel was working with the 28th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Army Division’s 1st Battalion, which was working on training national soldiers to take over security operations in the country fraught with conflict. (RELATED: 19-Year-Old US Soldier Killed In Afghanistan Day Before Independence Day)
The Pentagon is investigating the attack, and it’s unclear if it was connected to a larger insurgent group. A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Yosuf Ahmadi, said the Afghan security member acted alone, but that he “appreciated” the attack, CBS News reported.
Maciel, from South Gate, California, deployed to Afghanistan in February, and has served in the Army stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, for two years. “Cpl. Maciel was an excellent soldier beloved by his teammates and dedicated to our mission,” Lt. Col. David Conner, the battalion commander, said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family. Our prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Maciel’s death marks the third U.S. military casualty in Afghanistan in 2018. Insider attacks declined as the intensive fighting in the country slowed down around 2014, but military officials told Congress in 2017 that attacks from trusted Afghan nationals could increase given the “explosive growth in personnel” as coalition forces seek to build up the national military.
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