Two Marines from Riverside County were among the 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, officials confirmed Friday.
The city of Norco confirmed on its Facebook page that resident Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Nikoui, a lance corporal, was one of 11 Marines who died in the Thursday attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport. Nikoui’s father also confirmed the death in an interview with The Daily Beast.
A Navy corpsman and an Army soldier also died in the attack.
“The U.S. Marine, who graduated from Norco High School in 2019 and served in JROTC, was committed to serving his country and is survived by his mother, father and siblings,” according to the city. “Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui’s name will be enshrined on the `Lest We Forget Wall’ at the George A. Ingalls Veterans Memorial Plaza, which honors Norconians who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.
“… 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.”
Meanwhile, the Riverside Sheriff’s Association confirmed that another Marine killed in the attack was Cpl. Hunter Lopez, the son of Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff’s Capt. Herman Lopez.
“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Hunter, who chose to follow a life of service, selflessness, courage and sacrifice, like his parents,” according to the RSA. “Hunter was a Riverside Sheriff’s Explorer Scout with the Palm Desert Station from September 2014 to August 2017.
“Hunter joined the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. Hunter, who was 22 years old at the time of his death, planned on becoming a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy after returning from his current deployment. Today the entire law enforcement community stands with the Lopez family, friends, fellow Marines, and all who loved him, praying for comfort, peace.”
According to the RSA, the Lopez family requested that donations in Hunter’s memory be made to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation in the name of the Lopez family. Donations can be sent to 21810 Cactus Ave., Riverside, CA 92518.
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