Six U.S. soldiers were killed, along with one Afghan soldier, during a helicopter air assault in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, coalition officials said.
The deaths occurred during heavy fighting in the mountainous region of Kunar Province, which contains a large number of insurgent fighters. It borders the lawless Pakistani tribal belt. The U.S. military operation is an effort to push the Pakistani insurgents back into the mountains and away from the civilian population.
On Sunday, Taliban insurgents claimed they had kidnapped 50 Afghan police from the area.
The soldiers were all from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The six soldiers names were released by officials: Ofren Arrechaga, 28, of Florida; Frank Adamski III, 26, of Connecticut; Jameson Lindskog, 23, of California; Jeremy Faulkner, 23, of Georgia; Bryan Burgess, 29, of Texas and Dustin Feldhaus, 20, of Arizona.