US soldier killed in Afghanistan

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Jul 05, 2017

(CNN) -- A US soldier was killed Monday in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense announced that Pfc. Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska died from wounds received during an "indirect fire attack" and the incident is under investigation.

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

The Department of Defense initially stated Kirkpatrick was from Arkansas but later corrected the error.

There has been fierce fighting in Helmand where Afghan security forces have been locked in constant clashes with Taliban insurgents, who have managed to reestablish a significant presence in the area. At least 300 Marines have been deployed to the province to train, advise and assist Afghan soldiers and police.

US and coalition casualties in Afghanistan have become rarer in recent years, falling dramatically since the Afghan government assumed responsibility for combat operations in 2014.

However, there's been an uptick in violence in recent months. Three US soldiers were killed and another wounded in June during a joint US-Afghan military operation in Nangarhar Province. In late April, two US service members were killed and another wounded while conducting a joint raid in the Achin District in Nangarhar.