By Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HUDSON, Mass. (AP) - Friends and family have gathered in Massachusetts to honor an American killed while fighting the Islamic State group in Syria.

Clergy members and police directed mourners into the wake Tuesday evening for 36-year-old Keith Broomfield at Grace Baptist Church in Hudson. Broomfield, who had no military training, is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die fighting alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group.

He’ll be buried Wednesday during a private ceremony following a morning funeral.

Kurdish officials have said Broomfield died in battle in a Syrian village near the town of Kobani on the Turkish border. He joined a Syrian Kurdish militia fighting the Islamic State group on Feb. 24.

His obituary says “his heart was for the protection of the innocence of Kurdish women and children.”

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