Trio of Marines killed in Afghanistan were based at Fort Devens
KABUL — US forces in Afghanistan revised on Tuesday the death toll from a Taliban attack the previous day near the main American base in the country, saying three service members were killed but not a contractor who was initially reported among the fatalities.
The US and NATO Resolute Support mission issued a statement ‘‘to clarify initial reporting’’ about Monday’s roadside bombing of an American convoy near the main US base. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Pentagon said later that all three service members killed were Marines assigned to the 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of the Marine Corps Reserve, based in Fort Devens, Massachusetts..
Christopher Slutman, a 15-year New York City fire department member, was among the three Marines killed. He leaves behind his wife, Shannon, and three daughters.
‘‘Firefighter Slutman bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps,’’ Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a written statement.
The Pentagon identified the two other Marines killed as Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York, and Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania.
The mission said a roadside bomb hit the convoy near the Bagram Airfield, killing three American service members, and said ‘‘the contractor who was reported as killed, is alive.’’
The statement said ‘‘the contractor, an Afghan citizen, was initially treated along with other injured civilians, later identified as a contractor and treated at Bagram Airfield.’’
Three other US service members were also wounded in the attack. The base in Bagram district is located in northern Parwan province and serves as the main US air facility in the country.
The wounded were evacuated and are receiving medical care, the statement said.
In their claim of responsibility, the Taliban said they launched the attack and that one of their suicide bombers detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near the NATO base. The conflicting accounts could not be immediately reconciled.
On Tuesday, local Afghan officials said at least five Afghan civilians were wounded in the commotion after the attack on the American convoy.
Four were passersby and the fifth was a driver of a car going down the road, said Abdul Raqib Kohistani, the Bagram district police chief. Abdul Shakor Qudosi, the district administrative chief in Bagram, said American soldiers opened fire immediately after their convoy was bombed.
Monday’s US fatalities bring to seven the number of US soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, underscoring the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year war, America’s longest.
Last year, 13 US service members were killed in Afghanistan.