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Jonam Russell: 48th Arizona Soldier to Die in Afghanistan

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Army First Lieutenant Jonam Russell, a 25-year-old from Cornville, was killed in Afghanistan earlier this week along with two others after they were attacked with an improvised explosive device, according to the Defense Department.

Russell is the 48th Arizona soldier to die in Afghanistan under "Operation Enduring Freedom."

According to Stars and Stripes, the armed forces' newspaper, "Troops were accompanying an Afghan army unit on a foot patrol in the village of Sultankhail when a suicide bomber rode toward them on a donkey and detonated his explosives. In addition to the three dead, four Afghan soldiers were injured."

Russell is the 50th Arizonan to die in "Operation Enduring Freedom," with the first being Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in 2004. (One Arizona soldier died in the Philippines in 2005, and another died in Djibouti last year during "Operation Enduring Freedom" operations.)

There were also 98 Arizona soldiers who died during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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