Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

US soldiers killed by Afghan soldier; Taliban takes credit for attack

US soldiers killed by Afghan soldier; Taliban takes credit for attack

The incident occurred during a joint U.S.

Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the attack took place in the province's Achin district where Afghan and American forces have been fighting side-by-side against militants from the Taliban and the so-called "Islamic State".

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a statement by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, who said the shooting was committed by one of the group's fighters who had joined the Afghan army. A news release from the USA military on Saturday confirmed that an incident had happened in the area overnight in which "personnel from the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces were killed and wounded". The wounded soldier had been evacuated for medical treatment, it said. "We will release more information when appropriate".

Vice President Pence addressed the incident during an appearance Saturday.

So-called "green-on-blue" insider attacks by Afghan soldiers on global service members were a major problem several years ago, but now occur less frequently after security measures were improved and the number of foreign troops in the country fell sharply. "The president and I have been briefed". Details of this attack will be forthcoming.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these American heroes", he said.

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Nangarhar's Achin district is the birthplace of Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The incident in Helmand, like the one in Nangarhar, involved USA forces working in partnership with Afghan commandos, but there was no indication that the incidents were connected.

An official statement by the Pentagon confirmed that three soldiers were killed and another injured in the incident, which appears to be an insider attack.

Saturday's attack came just hours after a USA air strike killed and wounded at least six Afghan policemen in southern Helmand province, in the latest "friendly fire" incident.

"The infiltrator was killed by other Afghan soldiers on the ground", read a statement from the Taliban. The incident remains under investigation, officials said.

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