Mil­i­tant booby trap kills Utah soldier, hurts 11 in Afghan fight

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS -

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Amer­i­can soldier was killed and at least 11 oth­ers were wounded in a bat­tle with Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in east­ern Afghanistan, the U.S. mil­i­tary said.

The mil­i­tary said in a state­ment that sev­eral Afghan forces were also wounded in the fight­ing Wed­nes­day in the Achin dis­trict of the Nan­garhar prov­ince, a mil­i­tant strong­hold.

And in three south­ern prov­inces, Tal­iban at­tacks Wed­nes­day killed three civil­ians and 15 Afghan po­lice­men, Afghan of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

The Utah Na­tional Guard said the Amer­i­can soldier who died was one of its mem­bers and that 11 other Na­tional Guards­men were among the wounded. The names were with­held pend­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion of fam­ily mem­bers.

The Utah soldier was clear­ing a build­ing when a booby trap ex­ploded, killing him and in­jur­ing the other 11 mem­bers of the team, said Utah Gov. Gary Her­bert.

The wounded sol­diers were evac­u­ated for med­i­cal treat­ment.

The fam­ily of the slain solider iden­ti­fied him as Aaron But­ler, 27, of Mon­ti­cello, Utah. His fa­ther, Randy But­ler, said in a state­ment he was a cham- pion high school wrestler who be­came a Green Beret af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the U.S. Army Spe­cial Forces qual­i­fi­ca­tion course with hon­ors in 2016.

Is­lamic State mil­i­tants have gained a foothold in re­cent years i n Afghanistan, where they have bat­tled U.S.-backed gov­ern­ment forces as well as the more es­tab­lished Tal­iban.

On Tues­day, the Tal­iban re­leased an “open let­ter” to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, re­it­er­at­ing their calls for the with­drawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan af­ter 16 years of war and warn­ing against new U.S. mil­i­tary buildup in Afghanistan.

PETER MOR­GAN/AP

the Koenig Sphere into its per­ma­nent home over­look­ing the 9/11 memo­rial in New York. The 25-ton sphere was dam­aged by the col­laps­ing World Trade Cen­ter.

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