United States soldiers wounded in Afghan 'insider attack'

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

Earlier this year in March a similar insider attack wounded three United States soldiers at an Afghan military complex in Helmand province.

The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission said in a statement that no US soldier died in the assault, while the attacker was killed in a retaliatory fire.

In April, scores of Afghan soldiers were killed when fighters breached security at the camp, detonating explosives and shooting hundreds at a mosque and dining hall on the base.

If confirmed as an incident among joint forces, it would mark the second time in a week that members of allied Afghan troops opened fire on US counterparts.

Seven American troops were wounded Saturday in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier at a military base, as the USA appears set to boost its troop presence in the country.

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An initial report from Reuters, citing Abdul Qahar Araam, spokesman for the Afghan Army's 209th Corps, indicated four American service members were killed in an apparent insider attack. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, North Carolina - were killed June 10 when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in Peka Valley, located in Nangarhar Province.

"About 6.20am a martyr attack was conducted by our mujahideen against a special forces base in Gardez, Paktia", spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. He said one of the attackers was still holding out. It was the second such insider attack by an Afghan soldier in the past week. Without calling for the operation, the Taliban fighting against the Kabul regime and the forces behind it have reported it and described the soldier as a "patriot".

Afghan policemen gather at the site of an attack Sunday in Gardez.

Such incidents remain relatively rare amid the close cooperation between Afghan and foreign forces, but it is likely to draw increased scrutiny from the Pentagon as it plans to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan. But he did not claim Taliban responsibility. Pakistan's military commanders bristled at the "unwarranted accusations" and said Afghans should "look inward" to solve their insurgent problems.

Another attack on June 17 left seven US troops wounded.

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