Utah mayor killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

Cheryl Sanders
November 4, 2018

A National Guard officer was killed and two US service member was wounded in the latest insider attack against American and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

News of Taylor's death brought shock and grief to a Utah community in which he had served as mayor since 2013 and, before that, as a City Council member.

On Twitter, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called Taylor "a hero to all of us".

"Devastating news", Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox wrote in a statement. "I'm struggling for words. We must rally around his family", he added. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, the adjutant general. At the time, he told local media he would serve as an adviser to an Afghan commando battalion. The attack wounded another US service member.

Operation Resolute Support said in a news release Saturday it is investigating the incident, which is suspected of being carried out by a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

The mayor of a Utah city was killed during an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state's National Guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported.

Taylor, 39, took an unprecedented one-year leave of absence from his post as mayor for his deployment to Afghanistan in January. "Please keep Jennie (Taylor's wife) and his children in your prayers".

Meanwhile, civilian deaths in Afghanistan keep rising.

The attack was the latest in a series of "green-on-blue" incidents in which members of the Afghan forces have killed US or coalition advisers this year, and it followed the death of a Czech soldier in the western province of Herat last month.

Taylor was part of an advisory team tasked with training Afghan commandos.

"We are devastated by the loss of our mayor and friend, Brent Taylor", according to a statement on the North Ogden City Facebook page.

Taylor, a graduate of Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah, served 12 years as an officer in the United States Army National Guard, including seven years on active duty.

Herbert said he planned to hold a news conference Sunday afternoon to give additional details.

"What we do for our country is very risky business, but it's important to remember why we do it", Burton said.

Other reports by iNewsToday