A female Fort Bliss soldier was allegedly assaulted Sept. 19 by a group of Afghan refugees at the Doña Ana County Range Complex in New Mexico, The El Paso Times reported Friday.
Fort Bliss officials confirmed that the alleged assault was reported and is being investigated by the FBI, according to ABC7.
“We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico,” Lt. Col. Allie Payne, director of Public Affairs for Fort Bliss, told ABC7.
#Breaking — The FBI is investigating the assault of a female Fort Bliss soldier by several male Afghan refugees at the Army’s Doña Ana Complex camp where thousands are currently being housed, officials confirmed to ABC-7. https://t.co/lK8dNsfjgx
— KVIA ABC-7 News (@abc7breaking) September 24, 2021
”We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount. We immediately provided appropriate care, counseling and support to the service member,” Payne continued, according to ABC7.
Thousands of Afghan refugees are currently being housed at the complex as part of Operation Allies Welcome. The purpose of the operation is to support both vulnerable Afghans as well as the Afghans who assisted American efforts in Afghanistan by safely resettling the refugees into the U.S., according to The El Paso Times.
The complex will introduce extra safety measures to help prevent any further incidents, officials said according to The El Paso Times.
“Task Force-Bliss is also implementing additional security measures to include increased health and safety patrols, additional lighting, and enforcement of the buddy system at the Dona Ana Complex.” (RELATED: Two Afghan Refugees Charged With Sex Crimes, Domestic Abuse At Fort McCoy)
The name and age of the soldier who was reportedly assaulted have not yet been released.