Body of second missing soldier found in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - The body of a second U.S. soldier who went missing last month on a resupply mission has been found in a river in west Afghanistan, NATO-led forces said on Monday.

Sergeant Brandon Islip’s body was recovered three weeks after that of his colleague, Sergeant Benjamin Sherman. Both had drowned when they were swept away by currents in a river in Badghis province, west Afghanistan, NATO said in a statement.

Islip’s body was found “after a local Afghan citizen provided information on his whereabouts,” the statement added.

The disappearance of the two paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division during a resupply mission, triggered a search by NATO and Afghan forces in Badghis, which is near the border with Turkmenistan.

Reports of missing soldiers in Afghanistan are rare and immediately trigger a large-scale military response. Another U.S. soldier has been missing in the southeast since June and insurgents have said they are holding him.

The recovery of the body comes a day before U.S. President Barack Obama announces his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to fight a Taliban insurgency which is killing record numbers of foreign soldiers as the war enters its ninth year.

Reporting by Golnar Motevalli; Editing by Jeremy Laurence