The mayor of a small city in Utah has been killed on Saturday in the Afghan capital of Kabul in what the U.S.-backed coalition called an apparent insider attack.
The attacker was reportedly a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. According to the NATO-led Resolute Support coalition, as soon as he launched the attack, the assailant was immediately killed by other Afghan forces.
According to CNN, Mayor Brent Taylor was identified as a U.S. servicemember and was elected to the city council of North Ogden in 2009 before becoming a mayor in 2013. The North Odgen City Councilman Phillip D. Swanson took to Facebook on Saturday to announce Taylor’s demise.
“Major Brent Taylor was killed in Afghanistan this morning. A news conference will be held tomorrow morning. Please keep Jennie and his children in your prayers,” Swanson wrote.
The North Ogden city council also took to their Facebook and wrote that they have been “devastated” by their loss, per CNN.
According to Taylor’s biography on the North Ogden’s website, he stepped down as a mayor to be deployed in Afghanistan with the Utah Army National Guard. Taylor was an officer with the United States Army National Guard for 12 years, including seven years on active duty. Per the CNN report, he also served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Per CNN, there was another unidentified servicemember who suffered injuries in the attack, and according to authorities, the person is undergoing treatment and is in a stable condition. After the attack, service members were evacuated to Bagram Airfield. The attack is currently under investigation.
Two weeks ago, there was another insider attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province which wounded U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley, who is responsible for overseeing the NATO military advisory mission in southern Afghanistan.
According to CNN, “the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, US Army Gen. Scott Miller was also present but escaped uninjured.”
Two Afghan officials were killed in the attack, including the southern province’s most powerful police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq Achakzai. According to an official, the shooter was killed by the US military. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and issued a statement saying that “the notorious police chief” was their primary target, per a separate report by CNN.
The U.S. government’s own ombudsman of the war released a report this week and set out how the Taliban have strengthened their grip in Afghanistan over the past three years, now controlling more territory than at any time since 2001, the CNN report added.