US Combat Deaths in Afghanistan Hit Highest Level in 5 Years; 2 More Casualties on Wednesday

(Updated: Identifies fallen soldiers, adds photograph)

( – The death of two U.S. Green Berets in Afghanistan on Wednesday brings to 14 the number of American military personnel killed in combat there this year – the highest annual combat death toll since 2014, and with more than four months of the year yet to run.

The Pentagon on Thursday identified the two soldiers as Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, of Chicopee, Mass., and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, of La Puente, Calif.

The soldiers, assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., died “as a result of wounds sustained from small arms fire while engaged in combat operations” in Faryab, a province in the north of Afghanistan, bordering Turkmenistan.

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