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FBI investigating alleged assault on female soldier at Afghan refugee camp

A female service member reported an assault by “a small group of men” at a New Mexico refugee camp.

Updated: September 24, 2021 - 10:40pm

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The FBI is investigating an alleged assault of a female soldier by several male Afghan refugees at a camp where thousands are being housed. 

In a statement to The Hill on Friday, the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas confirmed a female soldier reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by “a small group of male evacuees.” 

The alleged assault is said to have taken place at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico, which currently houses Afghan refugees waiting to be resettled elsewhere in the U.S.  

The Army also confirmed that the female soldier had received medical care, as well as counseling following the reported attack. 

“We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,”  said Lt. Col. Allie Payne, director of Public Affairs for Fort Bliss. 

“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." She continued.

Payne declined to provide additional details about the incident citing the FBI probe, and referred further questions to agents in charge of the investigation.

Tighter security measures have been implemented around the base in the wake of the alleged attack. 

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