FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — Fort Bragg officials announced Friday that a special forces soldier was among 13 U.S. service members killed in an attack at Kabul airport Thursday.
“Our teammate died not only serving our nation, but helping to give others a life of freedom and opportunity,” a tweet from the 1st Special Forces Command said.
About 6,000 troops from Fort Bragg have been deployed to assist with the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
“The family has been notified,” the statement from the special forces group said. “They are continually in our thoughts and have our full care, support, and assistance during this difficult time.”
The Fort Bragg soldier was not identified. The bombing was blamed on Afghanistan’s offshoot of the Islamic State group.
Eleven Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier were among the dead, while 18 other U.S. service members were wounded in Thursday’s bombing.
Meanwhile Friday, the Pentagon said it has determined that the attack at the Kabul airport on Thursday involved only one location and not two as was previously reported.
The Pentagon said there was one Islamic State suicide bomber, who struck at the Abbey Gate, where desperate Afghans were crowding to try and enter Kabul airport grounds and where U.S. troops were conducting security checks.
Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor, the deputy director for regional operations on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, told reporters on Friday that there was no second explosion near the Baron Hotel near the airport.
He said the bombing at the Abbey Gate was followed by direct gunfire from north of the gate – part of what the military has called a complex attack. Taylor said they have no more details on the identity of the shooters. Taylor attributed the incorrect initial U.S. report about a second explosion to confusion.
In its claim of responsibility late Thursday, IS said one of its fighters carried out the bombing and posted a purported photo of the bomber, posing with his explosives vest before the attack.
Two officials said 169 Afghans died, but a final count might take time amid the confusion. The U.S. said the 13 troops were killed in what was the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.