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National Guardsman dies in non-combat-related incident in Kosovo

July 6 (UPI) — The Pentagon announced late Monday the death of a National Guardsman who died on Independence Day in Kosovo.

Pfc. Alexander Blake Klass, 20, died Saturday as the result of a non-combat-related incident at Camp Novo Selo, in northern Kosovo, the Department of Defense said in a release.

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“The incident is under investigation,” the release said.

The native of Willamina, Ore., was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard in Springfield.

“This is a tragic situation and our primary focus is supporting the family during this difficult time,” Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, land component commander of the Oregon Army National Gaurd, said in a statement.

The Department of Defense said Klass died while supporting Operation Joint Guardian, which is also known as Kosovo Force, the NATO-led peacekeeping mission that launched in June 1999 to maintain peace and stability in the region.

UPI has contacted the U.S. military for further comment.

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