Local News

NC native killed serving in Afghanistan

Posted May 29, 2011 9:01 a.m. EDT
Updated May 29, 2011 11:15 a.m. EDT

— A Jacksonville native died Thursday while serving with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Saturday.

Staff Sgt. Ergin V. Osman, 35, and five other American soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device went off in the Kandahar province.

Also killed were 1st Lt. John M. Runkle, 27, of West Salem, Ohio; Staff Sgt. Edward D. Mills Jr., 29, of New Castle, Penn.; Sgt. Thomas A. Bohall, 25, of Bel Aire, Kan.; Sgt. Louie A. Ramos Velazquez, 39, of Camuy, Puerto Rico; and Spc. Adam J. Patton, 21, of Port Orchard, Wash.

Osman and his comrades were serving with the 4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

The Taliban launched its spring offensive on May 1 and has stepped up roadside bombings, suicide attacks and assaults on mountainous or rural military and police outposts.

Forty-four members of the international coalition fighting in Afghanistan have been killed this month, including at least 13 Americans. So far this year, 195 coalition troops have died in Afghanistan.