One American Special Forces soldier was killed and 11 others wounded during a battle with Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan according to US military sources.
SSG Aaron Butler was killed and his teammates injured as he was clearing a building when a booby trap exploded, killing him and injuring several of his teammates according to Utah Governor Gary Hebert.
Butler was assigned to the 1st Bn, 19th SFG(A), a Utah National Guard unit but was a full-time soldier and was the honor graduate of his Special Forces Qualification Course, graduating in 2016.
The military said in a statement that several Afghan forces were also wounded in the fighting on Wednesday in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province, a militant stronghold. It did not specify how many forces were wounded.
And in three southern provinces, Taliban attacks on Wednesday killed a total of three civilians and 15 Afghan policemen, Afghan officials said Thursday.
The Utah National Guard said the American soldier who died was one of its members and that 11 other National Guardsmen were among the wounded. The names were withheld pending notification of family members.
Butler was a former high school champion wrestler and had stated back then, that his desire was to someday become a Special Forces operator. His friends and family described him as a “force of nature” and a “leader, not a sit in the back kind of guy.”
Funeral services are pending but tentatively scheduled for next Saturday, Aug. 26.
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Photo courtesy DOD, Butler Family