A 41-year-old Green Beret who was on his fourth combat deployment has been killed by small arms fire in Afghanistan.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Loren Bymer at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg said in a statement that Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin died on Monday, Sept. 16.
Griffin was from Greenbrier, Tennessee, and was a Special Forces communications sergeant based at Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington state.
Bymer said Griffin was engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province.
Col. Owen G. Ray, commander, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), said Griffin was a “warrior” and a “respected and loved Special Forces Soldier.”
Griffin joined the Army in 2004. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart.
Last week, President Donald Trump abruptly called off talks with the Taliban to end American’s longest war, citing the killing of a U.S. service member in a Taliban attack days earlier.
Griffin is the 17th American service member to die this year in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon’s count. There have also been three non-combat deaths this year. Over 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year war.
Across Afghanistan, terrorist attacks, and more violence killed at least seven people as the country prepares for presidential elections later this month, Afghan officials said.
At least five civilians, including women and children, were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in western Farah province on Sunday, according to Mohibullah Mohib, spokesman for the provincial police.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred near the city of Farah, the provincial capital, but the Taliban are active in the province.
Earlier this month, the Taliban launched an attempt to take the city of Farah, briefly seizing an army recruitment center and setting it on fire. Airstrikes were called in and the Taliban were eventually forced out of the city.
Separately, a magnetic explosive device attached to a minibus belonging to a university in Ghazni province exploded and killed the bus driver. Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said five Ghazni University students were also wounded in the blast.
In eastern Logar province, a schoolgirl died in the crossfire during a battle in the Mohammad Agha district between the Taliban and the security forces, the police said. A second student was wounded.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani canceled his first electoral debate with his main electoral rival, Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s chief executive. Both men are partners in the national unity government.
Ghani’s electoral team, in a statement released just before the start of the debate, claimed Abdullah has no political program and that Ghani did not want to debate him.
Abdullah, who was present at the TV studio where the debate was to be held, said Ghani “should have come and shared his plans.”
Around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces will provide security on election day, Sept. 28. Around 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.
Approximately 20,000 American and allied troops remain in Afghanistan. Between 13,000 and 14,000 U.S. troops are currently in the country.