2 Illinois soldiers killed in Afghanistan - KMOV.com

2 Illinois soldiers killed in Afghanistan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Army National Guard says two state soldiers have died in Afghanistan after their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Kandahar.

Guard officials say 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Joshua Melton of Germantown and 43-year-old Sgt. Paul Smith of East Peoria died Friday.

Two other soldiers in the vehicle were injured.

Melton was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 130th Infantry based in Marion. Smith was with Troop C, 2nd Battalion, 106th Cavalry based in Aurora.

This was Melton's second deployment after serving with Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2006.

It was the third deployment for Smith, who was in Iraq from 2003 to 2004 and from 2005 to 2006.

They had been in Afghanistan since October.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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