Apparent insider attack in Afghanistan kills U.S. service member, wounds another

Leroy Wright
November 4, 2018

National media reported one service member was killed and another was wounded "in an insider attack" at the Kabul Military Training center, where a member of the Afghan security forces opened fire on them, officials told the Washington Post.

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in a Twitter message, described Taylor's death as "devastating" news.

But Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox wrote on his Facebook page that Taylor, 39, has been killed. "I'm struggling for words".

"The entire Herbert family mourns with this soldier's family and we pray that their burdens may be lifted, and that the hearts of all Utahns will reach out to comfort them in their grief", the governor added. He was elected to the City Council of North Ogden, about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City, in 2009 and became the full-time mayor in 2013, according to the city council website.

Taylor was assigned to Utah Army National Guard Element, Joint Force Headquarters, Draper, Utah. The attack wounded another USA service member.

"Initial reports also indicate the attacker was immediately killed by other Afghan Forces", read the statement.

Taylor announced his deployment to his constituents in early January via Facebook Live, explaining that he had been called to help train Afghan commando units after President Donald Trump had ordered an increase in the number of USA troops in Afghanistan.

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Taylor leaves behind his wife, Jennie, and seven children. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the state National Guard adjutant general, plan to hold a press conference at noon on Sunday to discuss the details of the incident.

The Tribune reported that on the day of his deployment in mid-January, North Ogden police escorted Taylor and his family around town as hundreds of residents lined the streets to see him off. Taylor, an officer in the National Guard, previously served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, civilian deaths in Afghanistan keep rising.

Afghan policemen keep watch following an air strike from an Afghan military helicopter during ongoing clashes between Afghan security forces and militants near the Eid Gah Mosque in Kabul on August 21, 2018.

"What we do for our country is very unsafe business, but it's important to remember why we do it", Burton said.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in September that training and vetting of Afghan forces was being stepped up to minimize such attacks, and that some training and advisory operations have been scaled back while security is assessed. "President Trump has ordered an increase in troops, and part of the new strategy focuses on expanding the capabilities of the Afghan commando units".

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