Pentagon IDs soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Pentagon IDs soldiers killed in Afghanistan
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The Pentagon on Friday identified two soldiers who were killed this week after coming under Taliban fire during a mission in northern Afghanistan.

Capt. Andrew D. Byers, 30, of Rolesville, N.C.; and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan A. Gloyer, 34, of Greenville, Pa., were killed Thursday during joint raid with Afghan partners to clear a Taliban position in Kunduz.

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The soldiers were assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson in Colorado, according to a Pentagon statement. Four other Americans were injured in the mission as well.

After the Taliban firefight, airstrikes in Kunduz on Thursday reportedly left at least 30 civilians dead. It’s unclear whether U.S. or Afghan forces carried out the airstrikes. U.S. officials have said they are investigating reports of civilian deaths.

Last year, the Taliban briefly overran Kunduz before being expelled by government forces. The insurgents hoped for a repeat this year and nearly overran the city last month.

President Obama formally ended the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014, but about 9,800 U.S. troops remain in the country on a mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces against the Taliban.

The U.S. forces are also conducting counterterrorism operations against groups such as al Qaeda.

The number of U.S. troops is set to drop to about 8,400 by the end of the year.