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Stockton soldier killed in suicide bomber blast at U.S. base in Afghanistan

Afghanistan's National Army and police soldiers guard, blocking the main road to the Bagram Airfield's main gate in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. An explosion at the U.S. airfield early Saturday killed four people, the head of international forces in the country said.
Afghanistan's National Army and police soldiers guard, blocking the main road to the Bagram Airfield's main gate in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. An explosion at the U.S. airfield early Saturday killed four people, the head of international forces in the country said. AP

A Stockton soldier was among the four killed when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device over the weekend at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan.

Sgt. John W. Perry, 30, of Stockton died in the blast early Saturday at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense. The apparent suicide bomber also took the lives of Pvt. Tyler R. Iubelt, 20, of Tamaroa, Ill., and two still-unidentified U.S. contractors working on the base.

The explosion also wounded 16 other member of the U.S. military and a Polish soldier who was part of the NATO mission. Perry and Iubelt were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

"I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of the fallen, and I want to reassure the loved ones of those injured that they are getting the best possible care," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. "Force protection is always a top priority for us in Afghanistan, and we will investigate this tragedy to determine any steps we can take to improve it."

The Associated Press reported that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the insurgent group, said the attack had been planned for four months.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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