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U.S. special operations soldier killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. soldier was killed Saturday while conducting operations in Afghanistan against ISIS-Khorasan, the local branch of ISIS there.

The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province, said Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan.

A U.S. military official said the fallen service member is a special operations soldier.

U.S. troops regularly perform counterterrorism operations against the ISIS affiliate, which has a presence in Nangarhar. Those operations are sometimes carried out in conjunction with Afghan forces.

The U.S. counterterrorism mission is separate from the NATO-led effort to train, advise and assist the Afghan army and police force.

There are about 8,400 US troops in Afghanistan. This is the first U.S. combat death in Afghanistan in 2017. The number of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan has fallen sharply since the end of U.S.-led combat operations in 2014.