Two US soldiers were killed and six others wounded in Afghanistan in a so-called insider attack by a local soldier firing a machine gun, military officials said Sunday.
The Afghan soldier in full military uniform had argued with the US troops before launching his deadly attack in eastern Afghanistan’s province late Saturday, officials said.
The “individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun,” Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time,” the statement added.
The shooter is believed to be dead, according to the reports. Up to three Afghan National Army members were also injured in the attack.
The wounded service members are receiving medical treatment at a US facility. The names of the service members killed in action will be withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete, in accordance with US Department of Defense policy.
The Taliban has not claimed responsibility, and senior officials were investigating if it was an insider attack — often known as “green-on-blue” attacks that have been a regular feature of the conflict in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s defense ministry set up an investigations team headed by the country’s chief of army staff to investigate the attack.
“Attacks such as this by our enemies fail to have negative effects on the friendship and spirit of cooperation and between the Afghan National Security Forces and the US military,” the ministry insisted.
Nangarhar is among the volatile provinces where the Taliban and Islamic State militants have a foothold.
Six US service members have been killed in Afghanistan since the start of 2020, including Saturday’s casualties. Last year, 22 US service personnel died in combat there.
With Post wires – February 9, 2020
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