Early on Thursday,3 November 2016,five Special Operations Forces members,including two US Army Green Berets and three Afghan Special Forces members,died in heavy combat with Taliban militants in Kunduz Province,Northern Afghanistan.The joint NATO-Afghan counterterror raid targeted senior Taliban commanders.It ended when airstrikes by both Afghan and then,when the Afghans did not succeed by themselves,NATO aircraft,were called in to rescue friendly forces surrounded by enemy fire,according to the Afghan Defence Ministry.*
Killed in the battle were Captain Andrew D. Byers,30,of Rolesville,North Carolina and Sergeant First Class Ryan A. Gloyer,34,of Greenville,Pennsylvania.CAPT Byers and SGT Gloyer were assigned to 2nd Battalion,10th Special Forces Group(Airborne),Fort Carson,Colorado.The 10th Special Forces Group(Airborne) conducts combat,unconventional warfare,special reconnaissance and foreign internal defence missions focused mainly in the US European Command Area of Responsibility.Since 9-11,they have seen action in both the Afghan and Iraq Wars,as well as service in Africa.*
Reports of up to 24 civilians being killed in the battle are being investigated by the US State Department.The Kunduz Provincial Police said the Islamist extremist Taliban took refuge in civilian homes in the village of Buze Kandahari,where the battle was concentrated,using them as human shields.Buze Kandahari is near Kunduz city,a frequent flash point in the 15 year-long conflict.