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Flags honoring 13 US service members killed in Kabul airport attack vandalized in California

Written by on September 8, 2021

Flags hanging in California to honor the 13 U.S. service members killed last month in a suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan have been vandalized, authorities said Tuesday.

The memorial of 13 American flags and one Marine Corps flag was displayed on the fence of the Ivy Street overpass above the 91 Freeway in Riverside, the Riverside Police Department said. At some point Monday, an observant citizen noticed the flags appeared damaged and alerted police.

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Photos posted online by the “What is Going on in Riverside County” group show the flags torn apart on the fence.

Police said it was "obvious the flags were intentionally damaged."

Police said it was “obvious the flags were intentionally damaged.”
(What is Going on in Riverside County / Riverside Police Department)

Police thanked the group for “bringing this crime to our attention” and said “it’s obvious the flags were intentionally damaged.” 

Two citizens helped police to take the flags down and turn them over to a local boy scout troop, police said.

Two citizens helped police to take the flags down and turn them over to a local boy scout troop, police said.
(What is Going on in Riverside County / Riverside Police Department )

Two citizens helped to take down the damaged flags, which were later turned over to local Boy Scout Troop 703 to be properly retired, police said.

As of Tuesday, no arrests have been made and police said they did not have a suspect description.

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The suicide bombing on Aug. 26 occurred as U.S. service members were providing security as people tried to flee the country amid the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover.

Eleven Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier were among the dead, while 18 other U.S. service members were wounded. The attack also claimed the lives of more than 160 Afghans.

Ten of the victims – nine Marines and a Navy corpsman – were based out of California’s Camp Pendleton.

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