A Westminster airman was one of three service members who died from injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device attack on Jan. 5 in Shir ghazi, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.

Airman 1st Class Matthew Seidler, 24, of Westminster, had been assigned to the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Seidler, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, was one of eight of NATO's United States-led International Security Assistance Force soldiers who have died in a series of recent attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan, according to military officials.

Also killed in the attack were Senior Airman Bryan Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa., who had been assigned to the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Tech. Sgt. Matthew Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich., from the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron, FE Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.


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In accordance with ISAF policy, no additional details were released.

"This is a tragic day for (Seidler's unit), and especially for Matt's family," said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander, in a statement. "We will come together to help Matt's family and friends through their grief."

Lt. Col. Mark Donnithorne, 21st CES commander, said in the statement that servicemen such as Seidler were "vital to Operation Enduring Freedom, and unfortunately, the pride we'll feel when we see Matt's name on the EOD Memorial Wall at Eglin Air Force Base will not extinguish the sorrow we feel from his loss."

Seidler had entered active duty in November 2009, according to a release issued from Peterson Air Force Base.

According to iCasualties.org, some 566 NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2011; including 418 from the United States and 46 from the United Kingdom.