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U.S. Soldier Killed, Two Injured In Afghanistan's Helmand Province

The U.S. military says an Army soldier has been killed and two others injured in Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province.

The Pentagon on July 5 identified the dead soldier as Private First Class Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska.

A statement said he was killed on July 3 from wounds received during an “indirect fire attack.” It said the incident was under investigation.

Kirkpatrick was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas.

U.S. military officials in Afghanistan said the two soldiers were wounded in the same attack that killed Kirkpatrick.

Their names were not immediately released, and officials said their injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.

Helmand Province is a Taliban stronghold and the extremist group controls about 80 percent of the territory.

The casualties come at a time when the U.S. military and some NATO allies are considering increasing their troop presence in Afghanistan to fight the resurgent Taliban and other radical Islamist extremists.

Since a peak of more than 130,000 NATO troops in 2011, current levels are about 13,500, more than half of which are from the United States.