While most of the American war on terror is focused on the Islamic State, there is still an active threat posed by the Taliban. In Afghanistan today, two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others wounded when a Taliban insurgent posing as an Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of U.S. soldiers.
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“An Afghan army soldier opened fire and killed two American soldiers and injured two others,” Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for Nangarhar province’s governor, said. “The Afghan army soldier was killed in return fire.”
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid was quick to celebrate the killing and to claim responsibility. Their statement said they’d successfully infiltrated the Afghan Army, as this attack showed.
The shooting occurred in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.
Lt. Damien Horvath, spokesman for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, released a preliminary statement acknowledging the attack, but not giving any details yet on the specifics of the incident or the identities of those killed or wounded. “We are aware of an incident in Eastern Afghanistan. We will release more information when appropriate.”
These latest deaths come on the heels of a similar attack back in March. Then, three soldiers were wounded in Helmand Province by an Afghan soldier.
There are still 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan. They continue to train, advise and assist the Afghan military who is at war with the Taliban. There is also a significant Al Qaeda presence in the country, and ISIS is also seeking to strengthen its hold on the country.
Gen. John Nicholson, the highest ranking commander in Afghanistan, has asked Congress for an increase in the number of U.S. and NATO troops. He’s hoping the Trump administration will support a significant increase in the number of troops in the country. The Trump team is contemplating an increase of 4,000 troops, but also continue to pressure NATO to increase their involvement.
As more news becomes available, we’ll update the story.