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FBI investigating alleged assault of female service member by group of male Afghan refugees at Fort Bliss

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Area photo of Doña Ana Range Complex in New Mexico facilities near Fort Bliss, Texas. The Department of Defense, in support of the Department of State, is providing transportation and temporary housing in support of Operation Allies Refuge. This initiative follows through on America’s commitment to Afghan citizens who have helped the United States, and provides them essential support at secure locations outside Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by: Spc. Elijah Ingram/24TPASE)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Fort Bliss officials say an investigation is underway after a female service member was allegedly assaulted by ‘a small group of male evacuees’ at the Doña Ana County Range complex where thousands of Afghan refugees are being housed.

Below is a statement from Fort Bliss officials on the incident.

“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 Doa 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.”

New Mexico Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R) released the following statement:

“I am aware of this heinous attack and my staff is investigating the situation. Our prayers are with this courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals brought to America, some of whom have proven to be rapists, criminals, and traffickers. The American people deserve answers.”

In late August and early September, the U.S. government essentially built a village on the sprawling base just north of El Paso, housing upwards of 10,000 refugees from the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban.

KTSM is monitoring this developing story, and will have updates here and on our later newscasts.

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