USA soldiers killed by Afghan army soldier in insider attack

One US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the incident was a "green-on-blue" attack by a member of the Afghan security forces in Nangarhar province.

"Today around noon an Afghan commando opened fire on USA troops in Achin district, killing two American soldiers", provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP.

He said the Afghan soldier was killed after the attack.

Such "green-on-blue" attacks - when Afghan soldiers or police turn their guns on global troops - have happened before in Afghanistan. One U.S. soldier was wounded and has been evacuated for medical treatment. "Additional information will be released as appropriate", the statement said Saturday.

Hundreds of US Marines recently arrived in Helmand to take over an advising mission as part of a NATO-led coalition training and assisting local forces. The three soldiers killed earlier this year died fighting an Islamic State affiliate in Nangarhar.

Approximately 8,000 US troops are deployed to Afghanistan as part of two separate operations. "Our hopes and prayers are with their families".

The commando was killed in the return fire.

The U.S. military apologized for the deaths and senior global diplomat in Afghanistan said authorities are investigating the possibility the incident could be connected to the shooting by the Afghan soldier.

She adds that shootings like the one that occurred Saturday "are called insider attacks - or green on blue - with Afghans wearing green shooting Americans and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation soldiers". The police were killed in a friendly fire incident when a USA airstrike occurred on an Afghan border post.

The latest killings come at a time of intensified violence and when the United States is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesman claimedthe shooter was an infiltrator for the militant group. All were members of U.S. Army special operations.

The number of insider attacks spiked in 2012 but have since become less common, a reduction attributed to new security procedures and better vetting of Afghan security forces.

  • Leroy Wright