Mayor of Utah city killed in ‘insider attack’ in Afghanistan

The identity of the dead soldier was not immediately released. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 November 2018
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Mayor of Utah city killed in ‘insider attack’ in Afghanistan

  • North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor died Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan
  • Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan in January with the Utah National Guard for what was expected to be a 12-month tour of duty

NORTH OGDEN, Utah: The mayor of a Utah city was killed during an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state's National Guard, authorities said.
North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor died Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Another U.S. service member whose name was not immediately released was being treated for wounds sustained in the attack, U.S. military officials said.
In a statement Saturday night, Utah Gov. Herbert said he was "heartbroken at the news" of Taylor's death and felt "completely humbled by the service and the ultimate sacrifice offered by this brave and selfless soldier."
"Devastating news," Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox wrote on his Facebook page. ""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."
Taylor, 39, 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.
"Brent was a hero, a patriot, a wonderful father, and a dear friend," U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said on Twitter. "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."
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.
Herbert scheduled a Sunday news conference with Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, the adjutant general of the state's National Guard.


Pope Francis during Easter vigil: reject the ‘glitter of wealth’

Updated 11 min 6 sec ago
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Pope Francis during Easter vigil: reject the ‘glitter of wealth’

VATICAN CITY: At an Easter vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis on Saturday encouraged people to resist cynicism or pursuing the “glitter of wealth,” and to avoid seeking life’s meaning in “things that pass away.”
“Do not bury hope!” Francis exclaimed, after noting that when things go badly, “we lose heart and come to believe that death is stronger than life.”
“We become cynical, negative and despondent,” Francis added.
For Christians, Easter is a day of joy and hope, as they mark their belief that Jesus triumphed over death by resurrection following crucifixion.
“Sin seduces; it promises things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but leaves behind only solitude and death,” the pope said. “Sin is looking for life among the dead, for the meaning of life in things that pass away.”
Encouraging the faithful, Francis said: “Why not prefer Jesus, the true light, to the glitter of wealth, career, pride and pleasure?“
At the start of the ceremony on Easter’s eve, Francis, dressed in white robes, slowly carried a lit candle up the aisle of a darkened St. Peter’s Basilica. At the chant in Latin for “light of Christ, the basilica’s lights were suddenly switched on in a dramatic tradition.
Arrayed before the steps of the altar was a row of cardinals, wearing ivory robes. Behind them in the pews sat diplomats with their spouses and thousands of rank-and-file Catholics, tourists and pilgrims among them.
Among those in the basilica were eight adults who were baptized by the pope during the Mass. The Vatican said these new faithful are from Italy, Albania, Ecuador, Indonesia and Peru. From a shell-shaped silver dish, Francis poured holy water over the bowed heads of the three men and five women, after they walked up to him, one by one, and listened to him calling their first names.
On Sunday, Francis celebrates Easter Mass in late morning in St. Peter’s Square and gives a speech from the basilica balcony. Known by its Latin name “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and to the world), the speech is an occasion to reflect on the world’s war-ravaged and other tense spots while paying tribute to Catholics’ practicing their faith sometimes in the face of persecution or other difficulties.