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U.S. soldier dies at Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield

Feb. 13 (UPI) — A U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan has died in “a non-combat related incident,” the Department of Defense said Thursday.

Spc. Branden Tyme Kimball, 21, died Wednesday at Bagram Airfield, a U.S. base north of the capital Kabul, the Pentagon said in a statement without providing further details about his death.

“The incident is under investigation,” the statement read.

The native of Central Point, Ore., was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Brigade in Fort Drum, N.Y., as an aircraft structural repairer.

He joined the Army in August 2016 and was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division following basic combat training and advanced individual training.

“The loss of any Mountain soldier has a lasting impact on every member of the team. The 10th Mountain Division mourns the loss of SPC Kimball, he will be missed from our formations,” said 10th Mountain Division spokesperson Lt. Col. Kamil Sztalkoper in an emailed statement to UPI.

He is survived by his mother, the 10th Mountain Division said.

“On behalf of U.S. Central Command, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of a fallen American soldier in service to our country,” U.S. Marines Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., said in a statement. “Spc. Kimball’s service to our nation will not be forgotten.”

Kimball is the seventh U.S. soldier this year and the third this month to die in Afghanistan after Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, and Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28, were killed on Feb. 8 from wounds sustained in combat.

The two U.S. Special Forces members were killed when a man wearing an Afghan uniform opened fire on a joint base in eastern Nangarhar province. Six other U.S. Special Forces soldiers were also injured.

News of Kimball’s death comes as Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced that the United States and the militant Taliban group have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence in the Middle Eastern country.

The United States has some 13,000 troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in its fight against terrorism.

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