Alaska governor orders flags lowered to honor Wasilla soldier killed in Afghanistan

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Pfc. Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska, was named as the fallen soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel.

Helmand province is an active site of USA operations supporting the Afghan National Security Forces in the fight against the Taliban.

A USA soldier was killed by "indirect fire" in Afghanistan on Monday, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. The wounds sustained by the two other soldiers are not considered life threatening and they are being treated at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) medical facility, according to the Defense Department.

The incident is under investigation, Davis said, but there are no indications of friendly fire or foul play by US or Afghan forces.

Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.

A USA soldier recently killed in Afghanistan has been ID'd.

Large stretches of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, source of much of the world's illegal opium supply, are in the hands of Taliban fighters, who have steadily pushed back Afghan forces that now control less than 60 percent of the country.

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Kirkpatrick's death is the fourth fatality this year of a conventional US soldier in an operation outside a base.

Hundreds of US forces, including Marines, are in the south.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) - who participated in the delegation along with Sens.

The death comes as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis prepares a strategy in Afghanistan that is expected to call for the US military to return to a war footing with the Taliban and lift Obama-era restrictions that limited the mobility of USA military advisers on the battlefield.

"We need a strategy in the United States that defines our role in Afghanistan, defines our objective and explains how we're going to get from here to there", said Warren, according to the Guardian. A US military spokesman in Kabul tells NPR's Tom Bowman that munitions hit a building while the group was inside it.

Two other soldiers were injured in the attack during the operation in Helmand's Nawa District, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

Safi further added that the operations are being conducted with the support of the foreign forces based in the country, who are mainly providing air support to the Afghan troops and Special Forces on the ground.

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