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      RI National Guard member killed in Afghanistan

      A Special Forces soldier from New Jersey who served with the Rhode Island National Guard has died in combat in eastern Afghanistan, National Guard officials said.

      Staff Sgt. Timothy Raymond McGill, 30, of Ramsey, N.J., was wounded by small arms fire and died Saturday, the National Guard said. It wasn't clear if he was one of the three American troops killed Saturday by an Afghan wearing a security forces uniform in an attack near the Pakistan border in the capital of eastern Paktia province.

      The Defense Department hasn't yet released the names of the three soldiers. Eleven foreign soldiers have been killed this year in similar attacks by members of the Afghan forces against their international allies.

      McGill initially served as a Marine after joining the military in August 2001. He was deployed to Iraq with the Marines in 2005. He joined the Rhode Island National Guard in 2008 and qualified as an elite Special Forces soldier in 2011.

      He was the sixth Rhode Island National Guard soldier killed in a combat zone since the 9/11 attacks.

      "We are once again reminded of the enduring sacrifice our soldiers and airmen have made, and continue to make, in service to this great country," Maj. Gen. Kevin R. McBride, the Rhode Island National Guard's commanding general, said in a statement. "Tragically, Staff Sgt. McGill has made the supreme sacrifice and at this time, mindful of the impact of that sacrifice on his family and friends, I pledge this command's perpetual support."

      McGill was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces of the Rhode Island National Guard as a weapons sergeant. He received several awards and decorations including the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Navy Unit Commendation.