US service member killed in Afghanistan

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A U.S. service member was killed Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, according to a statement from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. 

"One U.S. service member died as a result of wounds sustained during operations near Marja in Helmand Province today. Additionally, two U.S. service members were wounded," said the statement.  

"We are deeply saddened by this loss," said the spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan Brig. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner. "Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those involved."

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The forces were involved in a counterterrorism operation in Helmand province when they came under attack, according to NBC News. The officials told NBC a U.S. helicopter called in to evacuate casualties, then came under mortar and small-arms fire. 

A Resolute Support spokesman said the helicopter was suffering from mechanical issues, and landed safely. 

"We can confirm a U.S. helicopter has landed in Marjah, Helmand Province, and is experiencing mechanical problems. It was not shot down," said Resolute Support Public Affairs Director U.S. Army Col. Michael Lawhorn.

A spokesman said the incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. local time.

President Obama has been briefed on the incident, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The spokesman added that “it does underscore that Afghanistan is a dangerous place” and that U.S. service members there continue to face grave risks. 

Although the U.S. ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014, American troops have continued to engage in combat operations against the Taliban insurgency. There are 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

On Monday, the Taliban conducted two attacks in Kabul, including one against a facility housing U.S. contractors. A U.S. military spokesman said there were no troop casualties in that incident, but would not confirm whether there were any U.S. civilian casualties. 

Last month, six U.S. airmen were killed after they were attacked by a suicide bomber while on patrol near Bagram Air Base. 

This story was updated at 1:51 p.m.