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One Soldier Killed, Six Wounded in Afghanistan; Iraq Casualties Identified

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2006 – One U.S. Servicemember was killed and six wounded in combat in Afghanistan yesterday, and the Defense Department recently identified four previous casualties.

The servicemember was killed and six others were wounded when coalition forces made contact with enemy fighters while conducting operations to improve security in southern Uruzgan province.

A joint Afghan and coalition force was on patrol in the Cahar Cineh district in Uruzgan province when they encountered enemy forces. The six wounded service members were evacuated to a nearby medical facility and are in stable condition.

"We are very sad to report the death of one of our courageous soldiers," said Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, commander, Combined Joint Task Force 76. "They were performing an extremely difficult mission, working to improve conditions and create a positive future for the people of Uruzgan province. Their bravery and honor stand in stark contrast to the intentions of those who intimidate and abuse the Afghan people and their values."

The names of those involved are being withheld pending family notification.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified a Marine and three soldiers killed while supporting operations in Iraq:

  • Marine Cpl. William B. Fulks, 23, of Culloden, W.Va., died May 18, at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, from wounds received while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Anbar province on May 1. He was assigned to the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
  • Army Staff Sgt. Santiago M. Halsel, 32, of Bowling Green, Ky., died of injuries sustained in Baghdad on May 16 when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted clearance mission during combat operations. Halsel was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
  • Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, John W. Engeman, 45, of East North Port, N.Y., and Army Master Sgt. Robert H. West, 37, of Elyria, Ohio, died in Baghdad on May 14 when an IED detonated near their Humvee during combat operations. They were assigned to 1st Battalion, 312th Training Support Battalion, 4th Brigade, 78th Division (Training Support), Fort Bragg, N.C.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan and Defense Department news releases.)

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