Fort Bliss, TX

A Fort Bliss Soldier was Assaulted by an Afghan Refugee

Tom Handy

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Afghan national assaults soldierScreenshot from Twitter

A group of Afghan refugees assaulted a military soldier at the Fort Bliss Dona Ana Range Complex which is not far from El Paso. The female soldier was supporting Operation Allies Welcome.

Fort Bliss and 1st Armored Division Public Affairs Director Lieutenant Colonel Allie Payne confirmed the soldier sustained injuries. Pop Smoke Media reported the incident on Friday. The assault occurred on September 19.

We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on September 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico,” Lieutenant Colonel Payne confirmed in a statement. “We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The status of the military personnel and assault have not been released. The FBI is handling the investigation.

Task Force-Bliss will also “cooperate fully with the FBI and will continue to ensure the service member reporting the assault is fully supported.”

The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount,” Payne’s statement continued. “We immediately provided appropriate care, counseling and support to the service member.”

Due to the recent incident, Lieutenant Colonel Payne said the Afghan housing area will have better lighting as more security measures are implemented. The soldier has received medical care and counseling.

Sources said the soldier was near her car as she arrived for duty when the incident happened. ABC-7 was informed by a source familiar with the incident that the assault was not sexual in nature. Violence against female soldiers is a common problem in the military particularly sexual assault and harassment.

Fort Bliss issued this statement:

"We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico. We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount. We immediately provided appropriate care, counseling and support to the service member. Task Force-Bliss is also implementing additional security measures to include increased health and safety patrols, additional lighting, and enforcement of the buddy system at the Dona Ana Complex. We will cooperate fully with the FBI and will continue to ensure the service member reporting this assault is fully supported."

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