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U.S. Army Major Mysteriously Dies While Visiting Belarus; No Foul Play Suspected

Kyle Tafel
Kyle Tafel

A U.S. Army major died mysteriously while visiting Belarus last month, media reported on July 6.

The father of Kyle Tafel, 36, said the U.S. national guardsman was visiting Belarus with two of his aunts. One of them was there for a weightlifting competition.

“He was there to support her and, in a way, I think, to try to protect them. He knew it was a rough neighborhood,” said Kevin Tafel, Kyle's father.

Kevin Tafel said on one of their last nights there, his son went to the hotel's casino. There was some type of argument, and security brought Kyle back to the suite he shared with his aunts.

“He told his aunts, 'They were out for blood.' Out of fear, they barricaded the door so nobody could get in or out,” said Kevin Tafel.

Tafel said about three hours later, the police showed up at the hotel suite and told the aunts that Kyle's body was found on the sidewalk outside the hotel. He was dead.

Kevin Tafel said he doesn't know what happened.

Belarusian authorities said they don't suspect foul play as camera records show the drunken soldier was alone in his room before apparently falling out of a window.

Based on reporting by,, and RFE/RL's Belarusian Service

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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