UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Two American soldiers were killed and six others were wounded Saturday in a machine gun attack carried out by an Afghan soldier in eastern Afghanistan, revealing the ongoing insecurity in this country for 18 years.
“Current information indicates that an individual in an Afghan military suit opened fire from a machine gun to a group of American and Afghan soldiers,” US forces spokesman in Afghanistan, Son Legate, said in a statement.
The spokesman had previously confirmed that these forces were subject to “direct fire” in Nangarhar State. On Sunday, he explained that the accident occurred in the eastern Afghan state of Nangarhar at a base in the Sherzad region.
State governor Shah Mahmoud Miyakil said in an audio recording distributed to the media that three Afghan soldiers were wounded. He stressed that it was not yet clear whether it was an intentional act committed by a “infiltrator”, or whether it was an accident.
“There has been no confrontation between the forces and we are investigating” the attack, which no one has claimed responsibility for, he added.
A spokesman for the US forces also said that the cause of the attack was not yet known.
For his part, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declined to comment on this attack. He said in a letter to Agence France-Presse that the movement was “investigating” now.
In a tweet, the US Special Forces Group Seven said that “several” of its soldiers were killed or wounded.
Najibullah, who lives in Sherzad, said he heard gunfire from a nearby Afghan forces base, late Saturday, followed by an immediate air evacuation. “We heard the sound of bullets, and helicopters immediately landed inside the base and transported the wounded,” he added.
The American forces suffered the greatest losses last year since the combat operations officially ended in late 2014.
In December, Taliban militants who infiltrated the Afghan army killed nine Afghan soldiers in the center of the country.
In July, an Afghan soldier killed two members of the American forces while they were visiting an Afghan army base in Kandahar.
This incident occurred weeks after another Afghan soldier killed a colonel in the Afghan army in the eastern Ghazni province.
US President Donald Trump reaffirmed in Congress Tuesday his desire to withdraw American soldiers from Afghanistan, stressing that the United States is not tasked with maintaining order in this country.
In his speech on the state of the union, Trump said, “Our role is not to serve the law enforcement agency in other countries.” “We are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East,” he added.
The United States has been negotiating for the past year and a half with the Taliban over an agreement that is supposed to allow the US military to begin a gradual withdrawal in return for guarantees in the fight against terrorism and to start unprecedented direct peace negotiations between the Islamist insurgents and the Kabul government.
But the signing of the text, which appeared imminent at the beginning of September, was canceled at the last minute by a decision by Trump after an attack that killed an American soldier.
Negotiations resumed in Qatar in December, but were suspended again a few days later following an attack by the rebels on the US-controlled Bagram base.
The Taliban criticized Washington earlier this month, accusing it of delaying negotiations because of the increasing demands it is making.
The comments came days after Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy leading negotiations with the Taliban, launched a new round of shuttle diplomacy by traveling to both Pakistan and Afghanistan to brief officials on the status of the talks.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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