Afghan sol­dier shoots, wounds 3 U. S. troops

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - John Ba­con

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.

MUHAM­MAD SADIQ, EURO­PEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Afghan se­cu­rity of­fi­cers take po­si­tion after an op­er­a­tion against Tal­iban mil­i­tants in Kandahar prov­ince Thurs­day.

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