A U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan was hit by gunfire in a district east of Kabul while providing security for a U.S. Special Operations unit, U.S. military officials said.
Army Spec. Gabriel D. Conde, 22, was an airborne-qualified infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and was killed in Kapisa province’s Tagab district, the Pentagon announced. He had been in Afghanistan since September on his first deployment from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
A U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Martin O’Donnell, said Wednesday that Conde was carrying out an operation alongside Afghan forces against Taliban officials. Conde joined the Army in 2015 in Loveland, Colo., and was assigned to Army units in Alaska after going through basic training. His death marked the second U.S. combat death in Afghanistan this year.
U.S. military officials would not clarify on Tuesday Conde’s exact role while deployed, but he was part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, in which the U.S. military targets terrorist groups in Afghanistan. The Pentagon primarily does that through the use of Special Operations troops, but it also uses conventional infantry soldiers such as Conde to bolster security.
Conde was killed in an operation in which another U.S. service member was wounded and medically evacuated to Bagram Airfield north of Kabul for medical treatment in a military hospital.
The death occurred during a bloody day in Afghanistan in which 31 people, including 10 journalists, were killed in twin bombings targeting civilians in Kabul, and a suicide bombing targeted a military convoy in Kandahar province, wounding eight Romanian service members and killing numerous children who were nearby, coalition military officials said.
This story was originally published Tuesday, and updated Wednesday afternoon with additional information.