DEVENS, Mass. — The Pentagon has released the identities of three Marines killed in a roadside bombing of an American convoy in Afghanistan on Monday, all of whom were based at Fort Devens.
They are Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York; Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania; and Staff Sgt. Christopher K.A. Slutman, 43, of Newark, Delaware.
Christopher Slutman, a 15-year New York City fire department member, leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters.
"Firefighter Slutman bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a written statement.
The three were assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of the Marine Corps Reserve, based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts.
U.S. forces in Afghanistan revised on Tuesday the death toll from a Taliban attack the previous day near the main American base in the country, saying three service members were killed but not a contractor who was initially reported among the fatalities.
The U.S. and NATO Resolute Support mission issued a statement "to clarify initial reporting" about Monday's roadside bombing of an American convoy near the main U.S. base. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Monday's U.S. fatalities bring to seven the number of U.S. soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, underscoring the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year war, America's longest.
There are about 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, supporting embattled Afghan forces as they struggle on two fronts — facing a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over almost half the country and also the Islamic State affiliate, which has sought to expand its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed "caliphate" has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.
Last year, 13 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan.
The Taliban have continued to carry out daily attacks on Afghan security forces despite holding several rounds of peace talks with the United States in recent months. The Taliban have refused to meet with the Afghan government, which they view as a U.S. puppet.
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