NYPD detective killed in Afghanistan

- A suicide attacker rammed an explosives-laden motorcycle into a joint NATO-Afghan patrol Monday, killing six American troops in the deadliest attack on international forces since August, the AP reported.

Among those killed was a New York City police detective serving with the Air National Guard, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

"Detective Joseph Lemm epitomized the selflessness we can only strive for: putting his country and city first," Bratton said in a statement. "Tonight, we grieve and we remember this selfless public servant who dedicated his life to protecting others."

Lemm was a 15-year veteran of the NYPD who worked in the Bronx Warrant Squad, Bratton said. The husband and father of two served two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

The AP reported that the insurgent targeted the servicemen as they moved through a village near Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. military facility in Afghanistan, NATO and Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident, especially during this holiday season," U.S. Army Brig. Gen. William Shoffner, head of public affairs at NATO's Resolute Support base in the Afghan capital Kabul, said in a statement.

"As I saw firsthand during my visit to Afghanistan last Friday, our troops are working diligently alongside our Afghan partners to build a brighter future for the Afghan people. Their dedicated efforts will continue despite this tragic event," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of these brave Americans who died in service to this vital mission, and our thoughts remain with all of our troops serving overseas during this holiday season so that we may have peace and security at home."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on December 23 in Lemm's honor.

"Lemm served this nation with the selflessness and bravery that embodies the U.S. Armed forces and the NYPD," Cuomo said in a statement. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends, fellow officers and service members."

Lemm was a member of the 105th Security Forces Squadron, 105th Airlift Wing, based out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., according to the governor's office.

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