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U.S. Special Forces soldier killed in Afghanistan

A Canadian peacekeppers armored personnel carrier on patrol near the former king's palace in Kabul.
A Canadian peacekeppers armored personnel carrier on patrol near the former king's palace in Kabul.

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(CNN) -- An American Special Operations soldier has died fighting enemy forces in Afghanistan's southern Uruzgan province, the Coalition Joint Task Force-180 said in a statement from Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

A member of the Afghan Militia Forces (AMF) was wounded in the firefight and one enemy soldier was killed.

AMF soldiers working with coalition special operations forces engaged "a 10- to 15-member anti-coalition element on Thursday about 35 miles (56 km) west of Deh Rawood in the Uruzgan province," the statement said. "A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and AH 64 attack helicopters supported the ground forces."

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An Afghan Militia Force soldier and a U.S. Special Operations Force soldier were wounded in an exchange of small arms fire, according to the statement, with the U.S. Special Operations soldier dying from his wounds after he was evacuated to Kandahar Air Field.

Previously, a Joint Chiefs of Staff official described Uruzgan province as a place "of enormous sympathy for the Taliban and al Qaeda."

The soldier's death brings to three the number of Americans who have died in fighting in Afghanistan over the last week.

William Carlson of Southern Pines, N.C., and Christopher Glenn Mueller of San Diego -- civilian contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency, tracking terrorists at the time they died -- were killed during an ambush Saturday. (Full story)

A CIA statement said Carlson and Mueller were longtime military special operations veterans prior to their work for the agency.

They died during a firefight near Shkin, Afghanistan. Coalition officials said 18 suspected enemy fighters were killed in the fight by Afghan army troops, who were backed by U.S. helicopters and war planes.

The Shkin village is in a disputed region of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. In recent weeks, soldiers on security patrols with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division have exchanged fire with enemy forces who have been armed with artillery, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades, according to Pentagon summaries of action in the area.

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