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CIA officer killed in Afghanistan

Tenet: Officer 'has earned the gratitude of every American'

CIA officer Helge Boes in a 1997 Harvard Law School yearbook photo

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LANGLEY, Virginia (CNN) -- A CIA officer in Afghanistan was killed Wednesday in a live-fire training exercise when a grenade fired prematurely, the agency's director announced.

Helge Boes, 32, was assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, according to a statement Thursday from CIA Director George Tenet.

Boes is the second CIA officer to die in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Johnny Micheal Spann -- the first American to die in combat in that country -- was killed during a prison uprising in November 2001 near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif.

"Helge was everything a superior case officer should be: bright, energetic and ever prepared to apply his skills where they were needed most," Tenet said. "He died doing what he loved.

"For the life Helge led -- one of courage and sacrifice, one of service without public reward -- he has earned the gratitude of every American."

Boes, who lived in northern Virginia with his wife, Cindy, was a graduate of Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, and Harvard University Law School. He joined the CIA in January 2001 after working in a private law practice.

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