U.S. Army soldier killed in Afghanistan in second troop death this year

Jan. 23 (UPI) — A U.S. Army sergeant died Tuesday in a firefight with enemy forces in Afghanistan, the second American soldier killed there this year.

The soldier was hit by small-arms fire in Urozgan province in central Afghanistan, north of Kandahar, said military spokesman Col. Dave Butler.

The killed soldier was identified as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale, of Carrollton, Va. The Pentagon said Wednesday afternoon Beale, 32, was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel as a member of the Army’s 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Beale’s death happened four days after U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Cameron A Meddock, of Spearman, Texas, died from injuries he received in a gun battle in Jawand District.

About 14,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. President Donald Trump has considered pulling half of American troops, but no final decision has been made.

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