Three U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan identified

U.S. service members killed
Three U.S. service members killed by an improvised explosive device Tuesday were identified. (Jawad Jalali/EPA file photo)

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Department of Defense on Wednesday identified three U.S. service members killed when an improvised explosive device blew up in Afghanistan.

The two soldiers and one airman died Tuesday from injuries sustained in Andar, Ghazni province, as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, the Pentagon said in a news release.

Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Va., and Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Wash., were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Also killed was Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pa. Elchin, who was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was the first airman killed in Afghanistan this year, according to Stars & Stripes.

Also, three other service members and a contractor sustained injuries in the attack.

The Defense Department said the incident was under investigation.

The Taliban said it targeted foreign invadors in claiming credit for the attack.

The Resolute Support Mission, with about 13,000 troops, has trained and advised Afghan military forces for three years.

On Saturday, another special operations member, Sgt. Leandro Jasso, a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, was fatally shot accidentally while battling to clear al-Qaida fighters from barricaded positions during an assault in the southern province of Nimruz.

Thirteen Americans service members have died in Afghanistan this year, including 12 in combat.

Reporting by Allen Cone

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