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Family confirms US civilian death in Afghanistan

Sep 6, 2011 4:32:00 PM - thestate.com
An American civilian working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was kidnapped from his Afghanistan power plant and strangled to death, officials and family members said Tuesday, a rare incident despite widespread violence.

Carrie Hughes told The Associated Press that military officers came to her house in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday to inform her that her father, James W. "Will" Coker, had been killed.

It was not known who killed the American worker or under what circumstances he was abducted. Also Tuesday, the bodies of two Germans who had apparently been murdered were retrieved from a remote location. Neither area is known to be a hotbed of militant activity.

Coker was the only the third Pentagon civilian killed in 10 years of war in Afghanistan, said Maj. Monica Matoush, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

A Western official in Kabul who was briefed on the incident said that the man was kidnapped from a power plant where he was working on the outskirts of Kabul, and his body was later found in a cave in nearby hills. He was strangled with a belt, the official said, speaking anonymously to discuss matters of intelligence.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)