Two U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday when an Afghan army solider opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan, an Afghan official said.
Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar province, said that two other U.S. soldiers are wounded in the attack, which took place in the Achin district.
He said the Afghan soldier was killed after the attack.
The U.S. military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Such insider attacks have happened before in Afghanistan.
In March, another Afghan soldier was killed after he opened fire on foreign forces at a base in Helmand province, wounding three U.S. soldiers.
Two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan in ‘insider attack’
Two U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday and two others wounded when an Afghan army solider opened fire on them in an attack in eastern Afghanistan for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.
Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar province, told Fox News the insider attack took place in the Achin district.
“An Afghan army soldier opened fire and killed two American soldier and injured two others. The Afghan army soldier was killed in return fire,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that a Taliban loyalist had infiltrated the Afghan army “just to attack foreign forces.”
A statement from the U.S. military said merely that the military was “aware of an incident in eastern Afghanistan.”
White House Deputy Communications Director Raj Shah said President Trump had been informed of the situation.
Such insider attacks have happened before in Afghanistan. In March, another Afghan soldier was killed after he opened fire on foreign forces at a base in Helmand province, wounding three U.S. soldiers.
Saturday’s attack comes as the White House is weighing a decision to send up to 5,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan. Roughly 8,400 American soldiers are in Afghanistan now with most of them helping to train the Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban.
Eastern Afghanistan is where U.S. Army Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar and US Army Rangers were killed in separate combat missions in April targeting ISIS extremists.
Following De Alencar’s death, the Air Force dropped a MOAB, or “mother of all bombs,” on an ISIS cave complex in eastern Afghanistan.
The decision to drop the largest conventional bomb in the Air Force’s inventory was made by the top U.S. general in Afghanistan and not President Trump.
Since taking office, Trump has eased restrictions on the use of air power, according to senior defense officials.
As a result the US military has stepped up airstrikes in Afghanistan. In April, there were more bombs dropped than in any one month in the past five years.
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