Mayor of Utah city killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

NORTH OGDEN, Utah (AP) — The mayor of a Utah city was killed during an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state's National Guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported.

North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor died Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Tribune reported. Another U.S. service member is being treated for wounds sustained in the attack, American military officials said.

The Utah National Guard has identified the service member killed as a member of the Guard. The Guard member's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

But Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox wrote on his Facebook page that Taylor, 39, has been killed.

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Opium production in Afghanistan
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Opium production in Afghanistan
Raw opium from a poppy head is seen at a poppy farmer's field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Parwiz
An Afghan girl gathers raw opium on a poppy field on the outskirts of Jalalabad April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Parwiz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Raw opium from a poppy head is seen at a poppy farmer's field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Parwiz
Afghan children gather raw opium on a poppy field on the outskirts of Jalalabad, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/ Parwiz
Afghan men gather raw opium on a poppy field on the outskirts of Jalalabad April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Parwiz
Afghan children gather raw opium on a poppy field on outskirts of Jalalabad, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Parwiz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
An Afghan farmer works on his poppy field cultivation on the outskirts of Farah province February 4, 2015. Farah offers a prime example of Afghanistan's nexus between Islamist militancy, crime, opium and Kabul's feeble grip on power. Residents say problems escalated after foreign troops withdrew in early 2013 and locals in Farah's most lawless areas say the breakdown in order is complete. Picture taken February 4, 2015. To match Insight AFGHANISTAN-OPIUM/ REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS DRUGS SOCIETY)
An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: SOCIETY DRUGS)
Afghan men work on a poppy field in Jalalabad province, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: SOCIETY DRUGS)
An Afghan policeman destroys poppies during a campaign against narcotics in Kunar province, April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CRIME LAW DRUGS SOCIETY)
An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province April 17, 2014. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy, from which opium and heroin are produced. Despite more than a decade of efforts to wean farmers off the crop, fight corruption and cut links between drugs and the Taliban insurgency, poppy expanded to 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres) in 2013, up 36 percent from the previous year. REUTERS/ Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: DRUGS SOCIETY AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT)
An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province April 17, 2014. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy, from which opium and heroin are produced. Despite more than a decade of efforts to wean farmers off the crop, fight corruption and cut links between drugs and the Taliban insurgency, poppy expanded to 209,000 hectares (516,000 acres) in 2013, up 36 percent from the previous year. REUTERS/ Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: DRUGS SOCIETY AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT)
An Afghan National Army soldier shows how workers score a poppy bulb to extract resin during a patrol through the village of Jelawar in the Arghandab Valley north of Kandahar April 18, 2011. REUTERS/Bob Strong (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
Raw opium from a poppy head is seen at a poppy farmer's field in Jalalabad province May 5, 2012. REUTERS/Parwiz (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: DRUGS SOCIETY)
Afghan policemen destroy poppy fields in Badakhshan province, one of Afghanistan's top opium producers, on August 9, 2017. In the heart of Afghanistan's opium-farming area, police used red tractors to churn up a small field of young green opium plants in a large sandy desert. (Photo by Mohammad Sharif Shayeq/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Afghan policemen destroy poppy fields in Badakhshan province, one of Afghanistan's top opium producers, on August 9, 2017. In the heart of Afghanistan's opium-farming area, police used red tractors to churn up a small field of young green opium plants in a large sandy desert. (Photo by Mohammad Sharif Shayeq/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
An Afghan security personnel destroys an illegal poppy crop on the outskirts of Badakhshan on May 17, 2017. Over the last 15 years, the US government has spent billions of dollars on a war to eliminate drugs from Afghanistan, but the country still remains the world's top opium producer. Opium production is a major source of income for the Taliban insurgents. / AFP PHOTO / SHARIF SHAYEQ (Photo credit should read SHARIF SHAYEQ/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan man harvest opium sap from their poppy field in Badakhshan province on 13 July 2017. The US government has spent billions of dollars on a war to eliminate drugs from Afghanistan, but the country still remains the world's top opium producer. (Photo by Mohammad Sharif Shayeq/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Afghan women and a boy harvest opium sap from their poppy field in Badakhshan province on July 5, 2017. The US government has spent billions of dollars on a war to eliminate drugs from Afghanistan, but the country still remains the world's top opium producer. / AFP PHOTO / SHARIF SHAYEQ (Photo credit should read SHARIF SHAYEQ/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 2, 2016, Afghan farmers sit near a poppy field in Zari District of Kandahar province. Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan dropped 19 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to figures from the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Oiffce on Drugs and Crime. / AFP / JAVED TANVEER (Photo credit should read JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 27, 2015, an Afghan farmer harvests opium sap from a poppy field in Panjwai District, in Kandahar province. AFP PHOTO /Javed Tanveer (Photo credit should read JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photograph taken on April 27, 2015, an Afghan farmer harvests opium sap from a poppy field in Panjwai District, in Kandahar province. AFP PHOTO /Javed Tanveer (Photo credit should read JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images)
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"Devastating news. North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was killed today while serving in Afghanistan," Cox said. "I hate this. I'm struggling for words. I love Mayor Taylor, his amazing wife Jennie and his seven sweet kids. Utah weeps for them today. This war has once again cost us the best blood of a generation. We must rally around his family."

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch issued a statement Saturday about Taylor's death on Twitter. "Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend. News of his death in Afghanistan is devastating. My prayers and love are with Jennie and his 7 young children. His service will always be remembered," Hatch said.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert plans to hold a news conference on Sunday to discuss the death.

Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan in January with the Utah National Guard for what was expected to be a 12-month tour of duty. Taylor, an officer in the National Guard, previously served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

At the time of his deployment in January, Taylor told local media that, as an intelligence officer, he will be assigned to serve on an advisory team training the staff of an Afghan commando battalion.

"Right now there is a need for my experience and skills to serve in our nation's long-lasting war in Afghanistan," he said. "President Trump has ordered an increase in troops, and part of the new strategy focuses on expanding the capabilities of the Afghan commando units."

Taylor became mayor of North Ogden, a city of about 17,000 people 46 miles north of Salt Lake City, in 2013.

The Tribune reported that on the day of his deployment in mid-January, North Ogden police escorted Taylor and his family around town as hundreds of residents lined the streets to see him off.

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