Skip to Content

At least two California Marines killed in Afghanistan bombing

Pictured are Kareem Mae'Lee Grant Nikoui (left) and Hunter Lopez (right)
City of Norco and the Riverside County Sheriff's Office
Pictured are Kareem Mae'Lee Grant Nikoui (left) and Hunter Lopez (right)

(KION) Officials in Southern California have confirmed that at least two members of the Marine Corps from California were among those killed in a bombing in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Kareem Mae'Lee Grant Nikoui

The City of Norco said one of its residents, identified as U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem Mae'Lee Grant Nikoui, was killed in action while he was stationed at the airport in Kabul.

Nikoui just graduated from Norco High School in 2019, according to the City, and served in JROTC. He is survived by his mother, father and siblings.

"The City of Norco respectfully salutes the service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Kabul, Afghanistan, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time," officials wrote in a statement on social media.

Nikoui's name will be added to the "Lest We Forget Wall" in the George A. Ingalls Veterans Memorial Plaza, which the City says honors residents who have died while serving in the military.

Hunter Lopez

The Riverside County Sheriff also shared that one of its residents was killed in the blast. Sheriff Chad Bianco said Hunter Lopez, who served with the U.S. Marine Corps, was among those killed. He is the son of two members of the Sheriff's Office- a Captain and a Deputy.

Bianco wrote that Lopez served as an Explorer with the Sheriff's Office from September 2014 to August 2017 and graduated from La Quinta High School in 2017. He was 22 years old at the time of his death.

Lopez had reportedly planned to follow his parents by becoming a Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy after his deployment.

"Hunter, thank you for your service to our community and our country. My thoughts and prayers are with your family," Bianco wrote.

Background

A bombing at Kabul's airport killed at least 170 people, according to the Pentagon, and 13 were U.S. Service members. Of those 13, 11 were Marines. ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attack.

An additional 18 service members were injured out of more than 200 people reportedly injured. The injured service members have landed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and have been transferred to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, according to Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations Army Maj. Gen. William "Hank" Taylor.

A senior official says President Joe Biden plans to reach out to the families of the service members who were killed, but the White House will work to make sure the next of kin have been notified first.

The attack came as the U.S. and other Western countries are trying to evacuate citizens and Afghan allies before an August 31 deadline after the Taliban retook control of the country.

KION546 News Team

Comments

Leave a Reply

Skip to content