US Soldier Killed by Indirect Fire in Afghanistan Is Identified

U.S. Army soldiers rest next to a canal while conducting a patrol during Operation Helmand Spider in Badula Qulp in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 15, 2010. Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/Air Force
U.S. Army soldiers rest next to a canal while conducting a patrol during Operation Helmand Spider in Badula Qulp in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 15, 2010. Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez/Air Force

The Pentagon identified the U.S. soldier Wednesday who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday.

Pfc. Hansen B. Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska, was named as the fallen soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom Sentinel.

The soldier died from his wounds he received during an "indirect fire attack," in the Helmand Province, the Defense Department said. Indirect fire is an attack with shells launched from a mortar.

Kirkpatrick was in a building when a Taliban mortar round struck the roof and exploded inside, Capt. Bill Salvin, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told Fox News.

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Soldiers returned fire after the explosion, killing two Taliban militants and wounding a few others.

Kirkpatrick was part of the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas.

The Pentagon is investigating the incident.

The incident comes as the Pentagon is planning to deploy several thousand more troops to Afghanistan in an effort to roll back Taliban gains. An announcement is expected later this month.

The new Afghanistan strategy is believed to be similar to the ISIS fight in Syria and Iraq which puts troops closer to the front lines with the ability to call in airstrikes.

As of July 3, 2017, 40 Americans have been killed in Operation Freedom Sentinel, according to the Department of Defense.

At the end of the Obama administration, nearly 1,500 U.S. troops were pulled from Afghanistan. The addition of three to five thousand more troops makes up for that move, according to U.S. officials.

--Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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