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Utah mayor killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

By Sam Howard and Allen Cone
Utah mayor killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan
Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, until his deployment in Janiary, was identified as the U.S. servicemember killed after what NATO called an "apparent insider attack" in Afghanistan on Saturday. Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The mayor of a Utah city until his deployment was identified as the U.S. servicemember killed after what NATO called an "apparent insider attack" in Afghanistan.

Another unidentified servicemember was also wounded in the attack Saturday.

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Brent Taylor, a major with the Utah Army National Guard, was identified as the servicemember killed, according to a Facebook post by North Ogden City Councilman Phillip Swanson. He was elected to the City Council of North Ogden, about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City, in 2009 and became the full-time mayor in 2013, according to the city website. North Ogden's population is 19,465, according to 2017 U.S. Census estimates.

Taylor, 39, temporarily left his post as mayor in January to deploy to Afghanistan, according to his biography on North Ogden's website. Previously, he served 12 years as an officer in the United States Army National Guard, including seven years on active duty, as well as two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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"We are devastated by the loss of our Mayor and friend, Brent Taylor," the city said on its Facebook page. "Brent had a profound influence on this community. He was the best of men with the ability to see potential and possibility in everything around him."

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He and his wife Jennie have seven children.

A GoFundMe account has raised $102,878 of a $250,000 goal as of Sunday morning.

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Taylor was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah in international relations after receiving a Bachelor of Arts at Brigham Young in political science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah.

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.

It said initial reports indicate other Afghan Forces killed the attacker.

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Both U.S. service members were evacuated from the scene to Bagram Airfield. Operation Resolute Support said the service member who was injured is stable.

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