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U.S. service member killed in insider attack in Afghanistan identified

10 July 2018

"The incident is under investigation", Resolute Support said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed by the entire Black Lion family".

"Our prayers are with his family and friends during this hard time", Conner said in the statement.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

The attack took place in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, a statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said, BBC reported.

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The last insider attack that resulted in a USA casualty occurred in June 2017, according to NATO Resolute Support officials.

The Taliban released a statement praising an Afghan soldier for carrying out the attack, without taking credit for it themselves.

Pompeo said the proposed talks would be Afghan-led, with the US playing a supporting role.

On New Year's Day, a USA soldier was killed and four others wounded in combat operations in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

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The last insider attack occurred in August 2017.

Incidents like these have decreased in frequency in recent years as USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces have increased vetting of Afghan troops and taken precautionary measures, such as assigning protection forces known as "guardian angels" to advisory units.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday, promised support for President Ashraf Ghani's bid to start peace talks with the Taliban and repeated the United States would be willing to take part.

This is the third combat fatality in Afghanistan this year.

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Following a three-day ceasefire during last month's Eid holiday, the Taliban, fighting to restore their version of strict Islamic law, have so far rejected Ghani's offer of talks, demanding the withdrawal of worldwide troops from Afghanistan. A U.S. Defense Department report released earlier this month found civilian casualties had increased 73 percent between December and May compared to the same period the year before.

U.S. service member killed in insider attack in Afghanistan identified