Utah mayor killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan


Since October 2001, 2,270 USA service members have died there.

Brent Taylor, the Mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and a father of seven, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Army National Guard, officials confirmed.

Initial reports suggest the assailant in Kabul was a member of the Afghan armed forces and he was "immediately killed" by fellow soldiers, it says.

Though the incident in Kabul remains under investigation, the officials Sunday offered a few additional details. "Our hearts and thoughts go to Jennie, their children, and other family members as they deal with this tragic loss".

Taylor was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah in global relations after receiving a Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young in political science and a Master of Public Administration from the Unifersity of Utah.

Taylor became the city's mayor in 2013. "He was the best of men with the ability to see potential and possibility in everything around him". "'United we stand, divided we fall.' God Bless America".

Burton said Taylor was not serving with any Utah National Guard units at the time of his death but was supporting special operations to train the national army in Afghanistan.

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U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, wrote on Facebook that Taylor was "the definition of the term 'public servant'".

In his last Facebook post, dated October 28, Taylor quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt - "In the truest sense, freedom can not be bestowed; it must be achieved" - and spoke with pride about witnessing Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections in eight years, despite threats of violence. The Guard's statement did not name Taylor, however, as it waited for the Defense Department to officially release his name. "He is well-liked by everyone in North Ogden and everybody loves his family", he said. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says Taylor loved the people of Afghanistan and was there to help. During a 2007 deployment in Iraq, Taylor and his wife Jennie led an effort that collected $75,000 worth of humanitarian aid items from Utah residents that Taylor distributed to rural Iraqi villages.

"As the US gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote", Taylor wrote. "His pictures and descriptions gave me a deeper understanding of our military's service and sacrifice".

Afghanistan's Air Force stepped up its own bombing campaign against the Taliban this year, with Coalition support, but despite dropping tons of US-made ordnance on the Taliban, casualties among Afghan ground forces have skyrocketed in recent months, with the country's military suffering 1,000 fatalities in August and September, according to Pentagon figures.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Taylor died Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.