Mercury News Daily: Montgomery County native killed in Afghanistan

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When Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani took office, it ushered in a period of hope for the country’s traumatized people that decades of violence would soon end.

The attack happened as Taliban fighters overran a strategic district in southern Helmand province, the scene of some of the deadliest fighting between the Taliban and worldwide combat forces prior to the 2014 withdrawal, adding weight to Pentagon predictions that the insurgency is gaining strength.

Britain has sent a small contingent of soldiers to Helmand as advisers under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mandate. The U.K. has 450 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s training mission. But British troops have been deployed again to help local forces as they fight to take control of a key town after it reportedly fell back under Taliban control. The official was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf said the siege continued “and the government will soon announce their defeat”.

Helmand is not the only province where the Taliban have made gains. That’s compared to 140,000 foreign troops at the peak of combat operations in 2011.

The loss of Sangin would be a significant blow for the government in Kabul because it is central to the opium trade and was a stranglehold for the insurgents.

This week, a senior official said he was unable to reach Ghani and resorted to Facebook to warn of the Taliban’s encroachment on Sangin.

The cry for help from Rasulyar finally galvanized the government into action. The return of British troops is poignant, as they suffered more than 100 fatalities in Sangin during their 13-year combat mission.

The soldiers were targeted as they moved through a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest USA military facility in Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan officials said. His deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, succeeded him, causing internal ructions and delaying the likelihood that a peace dialogue with the Afghan government, halted after the announcement of Mullah Omar’s death, will restart in the foreseeable future. “And do something”, Mir said.

He said the main reason for the delay in sending reinforcements to the area was because of its remoteness and, during the summer months, the punishing climate.

U.S. Army planes are seen on the tarmac at Kandahar Air Base in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, February 5, 2013. They thought he was in Saudi Arabia. “It is a confidence thing”.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S. Hamdullah Mohib said on Tuesday that he was “deeply grieved by the cowardly attack”, and that he offered his condolences to the families of the airmen killed. Two U.S. troops and an Afghan were also wounded when the bomber drove his explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol. US and Afghan military leaders say they are expecting a hot winter, followed by a tough fight throughout 2016.

From Plymouth, Minnesota, she was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

A 30-year-old Air Force sergeant from Philadelphia, Taub was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816 at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Lemm, who was also an NYPD detective, “served this nation with the selflessness and bravery that embodies the U.S. Armed forces and the NYPD”.

Chester McBride was a former football hero in a Georgia town known for championship football teams.

Her father, Joseph Vorderbruggen, tells The Associated Press his daughter “loved life” and “loved the military”.