Afghan soldier shoots, wounds 3 U. S. troops
Three U. S. soldiers were wounded Sunday when an Afghan officer opened fire at a base in Helmand province, a U. S. military spokesman said.
Coalition security forces at the scene returned fire “to end the attack” and the officer was killed, Navy Capt. Bill Salvin said.
The soldiers were receiving medical treatment after the shootout at Camp Antonik, Salvin said.
Afghanistan’s TOLO news reported that the incident happened during a military training exercise. TOLO, citing military officials, said the attacker deliberately fired on the U. S. forces. Col. Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, an Afghan army spokesman, told the Associated Press that the soldier made a “mistake” and had not fired deliberately.
A rash of “green on blue” shootings of American troops by Afghan soldiers stymied military leaders in the earlier years of the war. The incidents have been few and far between since the vast majority of foreign troops left the country in 2014. In October, however, Sgt. Douglas Riney, 26, and military contractor Michael Sauro were killed by a man wearing an Afghan army uniform, NATO officials said.
Also Sunday, at least 13 Taliban militants were killed and about a dozen wounded during operations in southern Zabul province, the governor’s spokesperson, Gul Islam Siyal, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Two Afghan soldiers were wounded in the operation, the AP said.
Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of the U. S.- led international military force in Afghanistan, said last month that the war has essentially reached a stalemate. He said he would like to add about 1,400 U. S. troops to the 8,000- plus U. S. contingent to improve battlefield surveillance and move trained advisers deeper into Afghan forces to bolster leadership.
The Trump administration, however, is reviewing U. S. military strategy in Afghanistan.
Afghan security officers take position after an operation against Taliban militants in Kandahar province Thursday.