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Wake Held For First American Killed Fighting Islamic State

Keith Broomfield

Friends and family gathered in Massachusetts on June 16 to honor an American killed while fighting Islamic State in Syria.

Clergy members and police directed mourners into the wake for 36-year-old Keith Broomfield at Grace Baptist Church in Hudson.

Broomfield, who had no military training, is believed to be the first U.S. citizen to die fighting against the militant group, which in the last year has seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate.

Broomfield will be buried on June 17 during a private ceremony following a morning funeral.

Kurdish officials said Broomfield died in battle in a Syrian village near the town of Kobani on the Turkish border.

He joined a Syrian Kurdish militia on February 24 to help in the fight to liberate Syrians from IS's brutal regime, which regularly beheads opposition forces and leaders and forces captured young women to become sex slaves of the group's fighters.

Broomfield's obituary says "his heart was for the protection of the innocence of Kurdish women and children."

Based on reporting by Associated Press