Green Beret from Irvine killed in Afghanistan blast

WASHINGTON  – A US service member was killed Tuesday by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, NATO coalition authorities said.

The man killed in Lashkar Gah was part of the existing 500 troops already in Helmand Province working to do counter terrorism training and advise missions, according to a coalition official.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. — Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, California, died Aug. 23, 2016, of wounds received from an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Army photo)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. — Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, California, died Aug. 23, 2016, of wounds received from an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Army photo)

He was identified Wednesday as an Army Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, according to a Department of Defense news release. Thompson was stationed out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

The blast, which occurred near Thompson’s patrol, also left one other US service member and six Afghan soldiers injured.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said he was “deeply saddened” by the service member’s death, adding that his thoughts and prayers were also with those injured in the incident.

“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place,” Carter said in a statement.

“We will continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan and our NATO partners to bolster the capabilities” of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, he continued, “so they can provide the people of Afghanistan the peace they deserve.”