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US Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan, Resolute Support says

A U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, November 24, the NATO Resolute Support mission said without releasing details.

“One U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan today,” Resolute Support spokesperson Sergeant First Class Debra Richardson said in an emailed statement.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.We will share additional information as appropriate.”

Resolute Support typically includes information such as the province in which the incident occurs, while the home countries of service members killed usually later release identifying information.

Update, November 26: The Defense Department identified the soldier as Army Sergeant Leandro A.S. Jasso from Washington.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Jasso, 25, died “as a result of wounds sustained while engaging enemy forces in Khash Rod District” of Nimruz province, the Pentagon said in a weekend press release. He is the tenth U.S. service member killed this year in Afghanistan.

Jasso was wounded by small arms fire while conducting combat operations, U.S. Special Operations Command said. He was immediately treated and medically evacuated to the nearest medical treatment facility, where he died of his wounds.

The incident is under investigation.

“Sgt. Jasso was a humble professional who placed the mission first, lived the Ranger Creed and will be deeply missed,” said Lieutenant Colonel Rob McChrystal, Commander 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in a statement.

Born in Leavenworth, Washington in 1993, Jasso enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 2012. He served as Assistant Machine Gunner, Automatic Rifleman and Grenadier in the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

Lasso was on his third deployment to Afghanistan.

Update, November 27: Resolute Support said Tuesday that an initial review of the incident found that Jasso was accidentally shot by an Afghan partner force during a close-quarter gun battle with al-Qaeda.

“The tragic accident occurred when the partnered force became engaged in a close-quarter battle during an assault on one of multiple barricaded al-Qaeda shooters,” during an operation on November 24, the NATO mission said in an emailed statement.

On November 3, Major Brent Taylor of the Utah National Guard was killed in an insider attack in Kabul.

Taylor served with the Special Operations Joint Task Force in Afghanistan and was due to return home in January.

Less than two weeks earlier, a Czech service member with the Resolute Support mission was killed in an insider attack in Herat province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the October 22 incident, saying an “infiltrator” working at the Shindand airbase in the province opened fire on troops.

On October 18, a bodyguard for Kandahar governor Zalmay Wesa opened fire on Afghan and U.S. officials following a high-level security meeting, killing Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq and National Security Directorate provincial chief Abdulmomin Hassankhail. Wesa and U.S. Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley were injured.

General Scott Miller, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, attended the meeting but was not injured.

Miller on Thursday drew comment after Resolute Support released photos of him visiting Ghazni province armed with an assault rifle while his Afghan security detail was unarmed.

This story was updated on November 26 with additional information about Sgt. Jasso’s service, and on November 27 with the results of an initial review into the incident.

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