First American killed in action in Afghanistan is identified

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann was killed in a prison riot at Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, the first American known to be killed in action inside the country since U.S. bombing began, the CIA said Wednesday.

U.S. officials recovered his body Wednesday, several hours after northern alliance rebels backed by U.S. airstrikes and special forces quelled rioting by Taliban and al-Qaida prisoners.

The CIA provided no details on the circumstances of Spann's death.

CIA Director George J. Tenet addressed agency employees Wednesday morning. He called Spann an American hero and said his fellow officers should "continue the mission that Mike Spann held" sacred.

"And so we will continue our battle against evil with renewed strength and spirit," Tenet told colleagues, according to a CIA statement.

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