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Pentagon identifies US soldier killed in Afghanistan

The Defense Department on Friday released the name of the soldier who was killed this week in Afghanistan.

Sgt. James Slape, 23, died Thursday in Helmand province from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. He was deployed in support of Operations Resolute Support and Freedom’s Sentinel.

Slape, of Morehead City, North Carolina, was assigned to the 430th Explosive Ordnance Company, 60th Troop Command, of the North Carolina Army National Guard. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Slape’s unit deployed to Afghanistan in April and is scheduled to return to the U.S. in the spring.

Slape joined the North Carolina Guard in 2013 and, after training, graduated as an explosive ordnance specialist in 2015.

The incident is under investigation, officials said.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Sgt. James Slape losing his life while serving our country,’ said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard, in a statement. “We honor his courage, his selfless service and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, and fellow soldiers as we hold them firmly in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time.”

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