LAWRENCE — A Marine from Lawrence was among 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday, city officials have confirmed.
Sgt. Johanny Rosario was killed in the attack, city Veterans Director Jaime Melendez confirmed in a text message early Saturday morning.
"Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers," Melendez said. "Godspeed and RIP, Marine."
The suicide bomber entered an already chaotic evacuation of Americans and Afghans brought on by the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the country after a 20-year occupation.
The explosion detonated through a crowd outside the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport, where would-be refugees were seeking passage out of the country and being screened by the military.
The blast killed 13 U.S. service members including 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman and a U.S. Army solder.
Another 170 people were killed and 200 injured by the attack, The New York Times reported. Fifteen more U.S. service members were wounded.
The Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility.
“We are heartbroken by the death of the servicemen and women due to the bombing in Kabul this week,” Mayor Kendrys Vasquez said in a statement late Friday night. “I and the city of Lawrence are particularly saddened that one of those brave souls was a daughter of our city.
“I have been in touch with the family of the Lawrencian killed in action to extend mine and my family’s most sincere condolences, and offer all of the aid that my administration can provide as they grieve this great loss,” he said. “At this time, the family’s most immediate wish is to be given privacy and that their loved one be recognized as the hero that she was.”
Earlier Friday, in Milan, Ohio, just a few miles south of Lake Erie, a school district confirmed that a 22-year-old alumnus was among the U.S. service members killed.
USA Today reported that Maxton “Max” Soviak, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, was “a wonderful son who loved his family, his community and was proud to serve in the U.S. Navy,” according to a statement released by the Navy on behalf of his family.
The U.S. military said Friday it had conducted a retaliatory drone strike against an Islamic State planner of the suicide bombing, apparently killing that person.