After months of fighting on the ground, a military commander in Afghanistan has died of wounds suffered in a battle with a Taliban group.
The commander, Gen. John Campbell, was shot by a Taliban fighter in the southern city of Mazar-e Sharif on Tuesday.
The death marks the first American death in Afghanistan since the United States withdrew in 2014.
Campbell was killed after a Taliban ambush and he had been in critical condition at the time.
The United States military said in a statement it was providing the family with grief support.
The U.S. military said it was working closely with the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban to determine the circumstances surrounding Campbell’s death.
Campbell, a U.K.-based veteran of more than two decades in Afghanistan, was killed while defending a village against Taliban forces in Mazar Sharif on Monday.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office released a statement on Wednesday saying Campbell was shot at point-blank range and died in a “stunningly brutal attack.”
Afghan President Ghani said the death of Campbell was “a great loss” for Afghanistan.
Campbell is the second U.N. war hero to be killed in Afghanistan.
A Canadian special forces soldier died in the battle.
In the U.P.K. village of Ghosh in April, a Taliban commander opened fire on a U,S.
Army Ranger team as they tried to evacuate civilians from a suspected chemical attack.
That attack was the first known U.A.E. chemical attack in Afghanistan and prompted a U and U. S. investigation into whether U.R.A., a Pakistani militant group, had carried out the attack.
Campbell’s killing comes as NATO continues to beef up its presence in Afghanistan as the Afghan security forces begin to fight the Taliban.
In June, NATO said it would increase its presence and training by 4,000 to 15,000 troops.
It is also deploying an additional 2,500 soldiers to Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand.
In a news conference in Kabul on Wednesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai thanked NATO for the “courageous action of the U,N.
troops” to support the Afghan forces and said he hoped the Afghan authorities would act to bring those responsible to justice.
He also said the U.,N.
forces would remain in the country until all Afghan forces are under Afghan government control.
The government has yet to announce a date for NATO to begin its final withdrawal from Afghanistan.