KABUL, Afghanistan — Two U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded in a so-called insider attack in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province late Saturday when an Afghan dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire, the U.S. military said.
An Afghan defense ministry official, who was not identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the shooter was an Afghan soldier who had argued with the U.S. forces before opening fire. He was not a Taliban infiltrator, the official said.
“We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time,” said the statement. “The incident is under investigation. “
In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action will be withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.
Four other U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan this year, two in a roadside explosion and two others when their U.S. Air Force E-11B aircraft crashed because of an apparent mechanical issue.
Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been meeting with Taliban representatives in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar in recent weeks. He’s seeking an agreement to reduce hostilities to get a peace deal signed that would start negotiations among Afghans on both sides of the conflict.
In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump referenced the peace talks, saying U.S. soldiers were not meant to serve as “law enforcement agencies” for other nations.
“In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our war fighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are now underway,” he said.
There are about 13,000 American troops in Afghanistan, most of whom are involved in the training and advisory mission to help the Afghan security forces in their fight against the Taliban and the Islamic State affiliate. The remainder are engaged in a counter-terrorism mission against those two groups.
U.S. officials have said that the administration is considering a unilateral reduction in American forces down to 8,600 but that no presidential decision has been made.
source : abc news , washingtonpost