Shooter and a second Afghan soldier killed after another insider attack, Pentagon says
KABUL—An Afghan soldier opened fire on U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing one American soldier and wounding several others in an attack that revives concerns about trust between allies.
The assault took place in the city of Jalalabad, outside the compound of the governor of Nangarhar province, following a meeting between a senior U.S. official and the governor, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.
It is unclear what prompted the assault, but Afghan soldiers and policemen have turned their guns against foreign troops before, a phenomenon that became a major crisis for the U.S.-led coalition.
On Wednesday, U.S. troops responded to the fire, triggering a shootout that left two Afghan soldiers dead and one wounded. An Afghan police official identified the attacker as Abdul Azim, and said he was among those killed.
The senior U.S. official and other members of the diplomatic delegation left before the shooting. The U.S. embassy in Kabul said all were accounted for.
The international military coalition, called Resolute Support, confirmed the death of one of its service members and said the incident is under investigation. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the soldier who was killed was American, and that several others were wounded in the attack.
This is the first time U.S. and Afghan troops turned their guns against each other since the U.S.-led military formally ended its combat role and, at the beginning of this year, instead focused on training Afghan forces.
So-called insider attacks peaked in 2012, prompting U.S.-led forces to limit their interaction with Afghan troops and to introduce armed guards to accompany coalition service members who work closely with Afghans.
The number of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan significantly dropped over the past two years as foreign troops gradually handed over responsibility for security to Afghan forces.
Roughly 10,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, and most of them are focused on training and advising Afghan soldiers and policemen. So far in 2015, two foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan.
In January, three American contractors who were working for the international coalition were shot and killed at Kabul’s military airport in another insider attack.