Jan 6, 2016- One US service member has been killed and two wounded reportedly during a special forces mission in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province.
Defense officials told NBC News that Special Operations Forces were involved in a counter-terrorism operation when they were attacked.
The fighting – part of the intensified efforts by the US and its Afghan partners to push back against recent Taliban gains – was in Helmand province, which shares a border with Pakistan.
Cook said the USA and Afghan governments agree that the best way to ensure lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.
Two HH-60 Pave Hawk Medevac helicopters were sent to provide assistance, according to Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.
Initial reports were that a mortar had exploded near the helicopter.
In a brief written statement announcing the three USA casualties, the US military command in Kabul said one died of wounds sustained “during operations” in Marja, and that two were wounded. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, a spokesman for USA forces in Afghanistan.
“This is an ongoing situation, there is still a fight going on in the immediate surroundings”. The fighting is said to be ongoing.
The damaged aircraft was unable to take off and remained on the ground, officials said.
In October, a US F-16 was struck by enemy fire in eastern Afghanistan, in a rare case of an advanced jet fighter coming under a Taliban-claimed attack.
“Everything’s being done to secure the safety of those Americans and the Afghan forces”, he added.
The unrest in Helmand, blighted by a huge opium harvest that helps fund the insurgency, comes after the Taliban briefly captured Kunduz city in September – their biggest victory in 14 years of war.
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