US Service Member Killed After General Vows Increased Attacks on Taliban

As the sun rises, a soldier hikes along a 12-mile road march course. (U.S. Army: Sgt. Scott Lamberson)
As the sun rises, a soldier hikes along a 12-mile road march course. (U.S. Army: Sgt. Scott Lamberson)

A U.S. service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday, a week after U.S. military officials announced a plan to increase offensive operations against the Taliban after peace talks failed.

No further details on the incident were provided. The name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after family members have been notified, according to the news release from Operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.

The news of this latest American casualty comes after peace negotiations broke down a week ago.

President Donald Trump said he had planned a secret Sept. 8 meeting at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland with representatives of the Taliban and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Related: US to Ramp Up Fight Against Taliban as Afghanistan War Enters 18th Year

But a Taliban bombing Sept. 5 that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz prompted Trump to cancel the meeting.

Ortiz, 34, of Puerto Rico, was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Ortiz was killed when an explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

On Sept. 10, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, said the U.S. military plans to step attacks against the Taliban, striking "whatever targets can be lawfully and ethically struck."

--'s Richard Sisk contributed to this report.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at

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