Pentagon IDs Marines killed in Afghanistan attack

The Pentagon has identified the three Marines killed this week in an improvised explosive device blast in Afghanistan.

The explosion near Bagram Air Base killed Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, N.Y.; Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pa.; and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, of Newark, Del., the Pentagon said in a news release Tuesday night.

ADVERTISEMENT

All three were assigned to 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve.

The Marines were killed during “combat operations” in Parwan province, the release said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three other U.S. troops were wounded in Monday’s explosion, the U.S. military has said. An Afghan contractor who had initially been reported killed was later found alive.

The deaths of Hendriks, Hines and Slutman bring to the total number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to seven.

The United States has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan troops in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The Trump administration has been negotiating with the Taliban to try to find an end to the 18-year-old war, but the insurgents have continued to carry out deadly, high-profile attacks such as Monday’s.