Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan 'likely' shot by Afghan forces

Matt Saintsing
November 27, 2018 - 11:08 am

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Austin Berner

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The death of an American Army Ranger in Afghanistan over the weekend was probably killed by Afghan friendly fire, military officials said Tuesday.

Sgt. Leandro Jasso was killed in Nimruz Province in southwestern Afghanistan during a U.S.-Afghan raid on al Qaeda. 

“An initial review indicates Sgt. Jasso was likely accidentally shot by our Afghan partner force,” Operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, said in a statement. “There are no indications he was shot intentionally.” 

"The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies," said Gen. Scott Miller, Commanding General of Resolute Support and United States Forces - Afghanistan.

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The apparent accident happened when the Afghan partnered force, which officials declined to identify, “became in a close-quarter battle” during the operation, according to the statement.

25-year-old Jasso was part of the elite Army Rangers. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. The U.S. military initially said he has been killed in combat and later died of his wounds after being medically evacuated. 

Jasso enlisted in the Army in August 2012 and was assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state at the time of his death. His death marks the 10th American service member killed in Afghanistan this year. 

The 75th Ranger Regiment lost two soldiers by friendly fire last year. Sgt. Joshua Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Ill., and Sgt. Cameron Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio, were killed during an operation against the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan in April 2017. 

They were shot by other Americans. 

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