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Two US Special Forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two American service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, August 21, NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

Update, August 23: U.S. Army Special Operations Command identified the two Americans as Master Sergeant Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35.

They were killed in combat operations in Faryab province, Special Operations Command spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer said on Friday.

Both were assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Deleon-Figueroa, from Massachusetts, had deployed six times during his more than 13 years in the U.S. Army. He previously served in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2018, Iraq in 2008 and South America in 2015 after he became a Green Beret.

He was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant and awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal.

Gonzalez, who was from California, was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in 2014. He was posthumously promoted to Master Sergeant. At the request of his family, no photograph or additional information about Gonzalez was released, Bymer said.

The Taliban had claimed on Thursday to have killed four U.S. soldiers in clashes in the Qara Gholi area of Faryab, which U.S. Forces – Afghanistan spokesperson Col. Sonny Leggett denied.

Their deaths bring to 14 the number of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year, compared to 12 in all of 2018.

Last month three American forces were killed in Uruzgan and Faryab provinces and a Croatian soldier with the NATO Afghanistan mission was killed and two others seriously wounded in a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul.

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