03:15 - Source: CNN
Afghan government soldiers now fight with the Taliban

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A US service member who was killed in Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan's Helmand province

The service member was part of the existing 500 troops in the region

CNN —  

The US service member killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province has been identified as Army Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson.

Thompson was killed in Lashkar Gah, where he had been stationed as part of the existing 500 troops already in Helmand Province working in counterterrorism training and advising missions, according to a NATO coalition official.

US Central Command commander Gen. Joseph L. Votel said the CENTCOM “family” had been deeply affected by Thompson’s death.

“I extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends and Sgt. Thompson’s fellow service members, as well as gratitude for his selfless and honorable service to our Nation,” Votel said in a statement put out Wednesday.

One other US service member and six Afghan soldiers were injured in the blast on Tuesday.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said he was “deeply saddened” by Thompson’s death, adding that his thoughts and prayers were also with those injured in the incident.

“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place,” Carter said in a statement Tuesday.

“We will continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan and our NATO partners to bolster the capabilities” of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, he continued, “so they can provide the people of Afghanistan the peace they deserve.”