- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 13, 2002


An American soldier died of wounds received two weeks ago while hunting for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said yesterday.

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher James Speer, 28, of Albuquerque, N.M., was among five U.S. soldiers injured in an ambush on July 27 in the east of Afghanistan. He died Wednesday, a Department of Defense statement said.

About 50 U.S. soldiers and allied Afghan militia were trying to confirm intelligence about an enemy operative in the area when they came under small-arms fire, commanders said at the time. Special Forces and conventional troops were flown to the fight after the ambush, putting a total of about 100 troops on the ground.

Two Afghan militiamen also had been killed in the 4 ½-hour gunbattle in eastern Afghanistan during a search for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters believed holed up in the lawless region.

Sgt. Speer had been evacuated to Germany for medical care. The other four soldiers' injuries were not life-threatening and they were treated at the U.S. base at Bagram, Afghanistan.

At least three of those who opened fire on the U.S. and Afghan troops from a mud-brick compound also were killed, officials said.

The region is regarded as one of the most insecure areas of Afghanistan. Forces of the U.S.-led coalition repeatedly have conducted operations there.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide