US soldier killed and four others injured in Afghanistan battle

2 January 2018, 16:35

A US soldier has been killed and four others have been wounded during a battle in Afghanistan.

The US military said the incident happened on New Year's Day in the Achin district of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.

Two of the injured soldiers are now receiving treatment at a medical centre in the region and are said to be in a stable condition.

General John Nicholson, commander of US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), paid tribute to the fallen soldier on Twitter, writing: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own."

"At this very difficult time our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of our fallen and wounded brothers."

Nangarhar, which is on the Pakistan border, is an Islamic State stronghold.

Fights between IS and the Taliban frequently occur in the area, and both groups have been the target of sustained US air strikes.

The US formally concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, but there are still around 14,000 US troops in the country as part of the Trump administration's South Asia strategy.

Last year, President Trump authorised sending several thousand more US soldiers to Afghanistan, backtracking on his earlier criticism of the war effort.

The US soldiers work alongside Afghan security forces in the fight against the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

Despite their role being one of training rather than fighting, their presence on the front line means they are still at high risk.

According to icasualties.org - an independent website that tracks casualties in the Afghanistan War and Iraq War - some 15 Americans were killed in Afghanistan last year.