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Remains of soldier killed in Afghanistan returned to U.S. on Christmas Day

Remains of soldier who died in Afghanistan arrive in U.S.

The remains of a 33-year-old American soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan have been returned to the United States, arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Sergeant 1st Class Michael J. Goble of Washington Township, New Jersey, was killed Monday in a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz province. The Taliban has claimed they were behind the attack.

Goble was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The Pentagon has said Goble's unit was engaged in combat operations when he suffered fatal injuries.

Multiple U.S. officials, including national security adviser Robert O'Brien and Army General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended Wednesday what the military calls a dignified transfer in which the cases containing the remains are transferred to a vehicle from the aircraft that ferried them to the United States. 

Goble's death brought the number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year to 20. There have also been three non-combat deaths in 2019. More than 2,400 Americans have died in the nearly 18-year conflict.  

The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as government officials - even as they hold peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with negotiating an end to what has become America's longest war. Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.  

According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Goble was originally from Westwood, New Jersey. He joined the army in 2004, and earned the coveted Green Beret in 2007. He was previously deployed to Afghanistan in March thru October 2007 and May 2008 thru January 2009. He also served several overseas deployments in Argentina, Colombia and South Korea.  

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