Afghan Soldier Kills Three US Soldiers in Nangarhar

Also Saturday, at least two Afghan border policemen were killed by USA aircraft fire during a joint operation in the southern province of Helmand.

Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the top USA military commander in Afghanistan, wants 3,000 to 5,000 more troops to help train Afghanistan's military and police forces as they battle Taliban insurgents, Islamic State militants and other militias, US officials say.

Three US troops were wounded in March when an Afghan soldier opened fire in Helmand, in the first known insider attack on global forces this year.

"We are aware of an incident in eastern Afghanistan", the US-led military coalition said in a brief statement.

USA special forces have been fighting alongside Afghan soldiers to take down both groups. This could allow U.S. advisers to work with Afghan troops below the corps level, potentially putting them closer to fighting, a United States official said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of American heroes". Its spokesman Zabihullah Kujahid said online that the solider had been an "infiltrator" who had killed four American soldiers. "The soldier was also killed in the return fire", Khogyani told AFP.

NPR's Amy Held notes that while the US officially withdrew from Afghanistan in 2014, roughly 8,400 troops remain in the country - and the Trump administration has been considering requests to increase those troop levels.

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

The Pentagon announced the casualties in a briefing statement that did not detail the incident, Xinhua reporetd. Three U.S. soldiers had died there this year before Saturday's shooting.

Inside attacks like this are called green on blue attacks because of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation color coding system, reports the New York Times. Another official, Bashir Ahmad Shakir, head of the provincial council's security committee, said that other reports, not yet confirmed, said that as many as eight policemen had been killed.

The attack comes soon after a case of friendly fire against Afghan forces.

The Taliban has taken credit for the attack. ABC News also reports that there are now 8,400 American troops still in Afghanistan training Afghan forces and helping them in military operations.

During the joint operation of the Afghan National Defense and Security Force and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, strikes resulted in the deaths and injuries to members of the Afghan Border Police.

  • Joey Payne