The mayor of a Utah city was killed while he was serving with the state’s national guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported.
Afghanistan: US service member killed in 'apparent insider attack'
North Ogden mayor Brent Taylor died on Saturday in an apparent “insider attack” in Kabul, the Tribune reported. Another US service member is being treated for wounds sustained in the attack, officials said.
The Utah national guard identified the service member killed as a member. The name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin. But Lt Gov Spencer Cox wrote on his Facebook page that Taylor, 39, had been killed.
“Devastating news. North Ogden mayor Brent Taylor was killed today while serving in ,” Cox said. “I hate this. I’m struggling for words. I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his seven sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today. This war has once again cost us the best blood of a generation. We must rally around his family.”
Senator Orrin Hatch issued a statement about Taylor’s death on Twitter: “Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend. News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered.”
Governor Gary Herbert planned to hold a news conference on Sunday to discuss the death.
Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan in January with the Utah national guard for what was expected to be a 12-month tour of duty. Taylor, an officer, had already served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.
At the time of his deployment in January, Taylor told local media that as an intelligence officer, he would be assigned to serve on an advisory team training the staff of an Afghan commando battalion.
“Right now there is a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation’s long-lasting war in Afghanistan,” he said. “President Trump has ordered an increase in troops, and part of the new strategy focuses on expanding the capabilities of the Afghan commando units.”
Taylor became mayor of North Ogden, a city of about 17,000 people 46 miles north of Salt Lake City, in 2013. The Tribune reported that on the day of his deployment in mid-January, North Ogden police escorted Taylor and his family around town as hundreds of residents lined the streets to see him off.