KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — American military officials say a member of the Utah National Guard was killed in an apparent “insider attack” in the capital of Afghanistan.
Update Nov. 4, 8 a.m. While the original report withheld the name of the Guard member killed, on Saturday evening, it was reported that the victim of the attack was North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor.
Taylor, 39, was deployed to Afghanistan in January with the Utah National Guard for what was expected to be a 12-month tour of duty. Taylor, an officer in the National Guard, previously served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.
In a Facebook post, Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox called the news “devastating.”
“I hate this,” Cox wrote. “I’m struggling for words. I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his seven sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today. This war has once again cost us the best blood of a generation. We must rally around his family.”
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch issued a statement Saturday about Taylor’s death on Twitter.
“Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend. News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered,” Hatch said.
Gov. Gary Herbert issued the following statement before the identity was reported to the public:
I am heartbroken at the news that we lost one of our own today in Afghanistan and feel completely humbled by the service and the ultimate sacrifice offered by this brave and selfless soldier. The entire Herbert family mourns with this soldier’s family and we pray that their burdens may be lifted, and that the hearts of all Utahns will reach out to comfort them in their grief.
Herbert will speak with Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, during a press conference Sunday at the Utah National Guard Headquarters in Draper at noon.
At the time of his deployment in January, Taylor told local media that, as an intelligence officer, he would be assigned to serve on an advisory team training the staff of an Afghan commando battalion.
“Right now there is a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation’s long-lasting war in Afghanistan,” he said. “President Trump has ordered an increase in troops, and part of the new strategy focuses on expanding the capabilities of the Afghan commando units.”
Military officials said another U.S. service member is being treated for wounds sustained in the attack in Kabul Saturday.
A statement from a spokeswoman for the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support says the attacker was a member of the Afghan security forces and that initial reports indicate the assailant was immediately killed by other Afghan forces.
Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. St. George News contributed to this report.
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