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New York City police officer among six U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Ed Adamczyk
New York City police officer among six U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Joseph Lemm, who died in Afghanistan on Monday, was a 15-year veteran of the new york City police department. Photo courtesy NYPD

NEW YORK, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A veteran New York Police Department detective was among six U.S. soldiers killed by a suicide bomber this week in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Lemm, 45, serving with the Air National Guard and on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan after previously serving in Iraq, was a 15-year veteran of the NYPD and assigned to the Bronx Warrant Squad. He died when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle rode into his joint NATO-Afghan patrol near Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military facility in Afghanistan, and detonated explosives Monday.

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A Taliban spokesman later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Lemm "epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first. Tonight, we grieve and we remember this selfless public servant who dedicated his life to protecting others," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said in a statement.

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, in a statement, added, "There can be no greater sacrifice than the one made by a member of our military or our police force, who put their lives on the line to protect Americans. Detective Joseph Lemm did both for 15 years. He gave his life, yet asked for little in return other than to serve his country and his fellow New Yorkers, who may not have known him in life, but mourn his death nonetheless."

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Lamm lived in West Harrison, N.Y., north of New York City, with his wife and two children.

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