A Meridian soldier, 22-year-old Specialist Thomas Murach, has become at least the 69th Idahoan to die while serving his country since the 9/11 attacks.
Murach was one one of five U.S. troops killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan May 5, when their armored vehicle hit a roadside mine in Maiwand district. The attack came four days after three British soldiers were killed in a similar blast in the neighboring province of Helmand.
There was no immediate claims of responsibility for the deaths but Taliban militants frequently use roadside bombs against U.S. and NATO-led troops and their Afghan allies.
Murach served in the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.
Meanwhile, anger in Washington, D.C. continues to grow over a scandal alleging that the CIA has been delivering huge amounts of cash packed in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. The White House insists that the cash is being used for health care and scholarships but critics argue that the payments are fueling endemic corruption.