American Special Forces soldier from New Jersey killed in Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, of Washington Township, New Jersey, died Monday from injuries suffered in Kunduz Province, the military said.

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By Phil Helsel

An Army Special Forces soldier from New Jersey was killed in combat operations in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said Monday.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, of Washington Township, died Monday from injuries he sustained while his unit was in combat operations the day before in Kunduz Province, the military said in a statement.

He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The Defense Department statement does not elaborate on the circumstances of the incident.

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Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, of Washington Township.DOD

Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command, said the incident is under investigation.

"Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community," Col. John W. Sannes, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, said in a statement. "We will honor our brother's sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family."

Goble's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star among many others, Special Operations Command said.

The Taliban claimed it was behind a fatal roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province, The Associated Press reported.

Talks between the U.S. and the Taliban resumed this month. On Dec. 12, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan tweeted that "we're taking a brief pause" following a Taliban attack near Bagram Airfield. The envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said he expressed outrage to the Taliban about the attack.

No coalition service members were killed in the attack, and Taliban fighters did not breach the base, the military has said, but two Afghan civilians were reported killed and more than 70 other civilians were injured.

Monday's death brings the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20. There have also been three non-combat deaths. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year war.

The Associated Press contributed.