Afghan soldier wounds 7 US soldiers in insider attack

Lawrence Kim
June 26, 2017

At least three United States troops were wounded on Saturday when an Afghan soldier opened fire at them at a military base in northern Afghanistan, the defence ministry said, in the latest insider attack.

The service members, who weren't immediately identified, were medically evacuated from Camp Shaheen in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh province, according to an updated statement from the press office of Operation Resolution Support, the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to train and advise Afghan forces.

A week ago three USA soldiers were killed and a fourth wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them at a base in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

In the past, the Taliban has claimed to have "thousands of fully armed martyrdom seekers" at its disposal to conduct attacks inside Afghanistan and has provided some information on the structure of its "martyrdom units", "martyrdom-seekers battalion", and "suicide groups".

In addition to the dead, nine police officers and nine civilians were wounded, he said. A spokeswoman for the German forces said that "according to what we know right now, no Germans were affected".

And earlier this year, Taliban fighters dressed as Afghan soldiers stormed Camp Shaheen, killing more than 160 people at the base in northern Afghanistan.

The last attacker held out for hours inside a dining hall as security forces worked to evacuate kitchen staff sheltering nearby, Tabasim said.

The insider attack marks the second in a week in Afghanistan.

The attack involved at least five Taliban, one of whom blew himself up at the entrance to the site in the city of Gardez to clear the way for the others. Details of the attack are still classified but according to reports, an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of American soldiers in training and wounded seven.

Sardar Wali Tabasim, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Paktia province, said another eight police were wounded in the attack. The soldiers were assisting operations against the Islamic State in the restive eastern province.

Whatever the case with this latest attack, it comes as the trump administration is considering deploying as many as 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Seven US military service members were wounded.

Since peaking at a force of about 100,000 troops, some 8,400 US service members remain in Afghanistan after most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces pulled out in 2014.

The insurgents are also targeting the global coalition supporting the Afghan army.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.

A member of the 43rd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion moves into position during a June 10, 2015, joint force protection mission with USA forces outside Bagram Air Field in central Afghanistan.

Afghan officials frequently accuse Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and providing sanctuary for the guerrillas on its soil with the hope of maintaining influence in Afghanistan.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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