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US special forces member killed in combat operation in Afghanistan

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, January 22, NATO’s Resolute Support Mission said without giving additional details.

“One U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan today. The incident is under investigation,” Resolute Support said.

The U.S. Department of Defense on Wednesday identified the soldier as 32-year-old Staff Sergeant Joshua Z. Beale of Carrollton, Virginia.

US Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale
US Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale was killed on January 22, 2019 in combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan. Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Beale “died Jan. 22, 2019, as a result of injuries sustained from enemy small arms fire during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province,” in central Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.

Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

He graduated from Old Dominion University in Virginia in 2008 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2011, the Army said on Wednesday. Beale graduated in 2013 from the Special Forces Qualification Course and was subsequently assigned to 3rd SFG (A).

It was fourth overseas deployment and third to Afghanistan.

The service member’s death is the second in less than a week. On January 17, 26-year-old Sergreant Cameron A. Meddock died in a military hospital Landstuhl, Germany, as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations on January 13 in the Jawand District of Afghanistan’s Badghis Province.

Meddock was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

Earlier in January, two Afghan border guards opened fire on Resolute Support advisors at a military base in Herat province in western Afghanistan, killing one Afghan service member and injuring another. None of the foreign troops were injured.

Fourteen U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, including three who were killed in November by an improvised explosive device in the Andar district of Ghazni province and a fourth who later died from his injuries. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with its spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeting that the militants targeted the U.S. “invaders.”

On October 22, a Czech service member with the NATO mission in Afghanistan was killed in an insider attack at the Shindand airbase in Herat. It was the second “green on blue” attack in Afghanistan in less than week. Four days earlier, a bodyguard for Kandahar governor Zalmay Wesa opened fire on Afghan and U.S. officials following a high-level security meeting.

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