US Service Members Wounded In 'Insider Attack' In Afghanistan

Afghan forces patrol in Pachir Agham district near Tora Bora in Nangarhar province

Sseven US servicemen were wounded and one Afghan soldier was killed in an insider shooting at a base in northern Afghanistan.

A statement on the Resolute Support Twitter feed Saturday says the seven were wounded when an Afghan army soldier opened fire. He said reports claiming the soldiers had been killed were false. That was one of the deadliest Taliban attacks on an Afghan army base to date.

"About 6.20am a martyr attack was conducted by our mujahideen against a special forces base in Gardez, Paktia", spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

There has been a series of attacks lately which targeted the U.S. army based in Afghanistan, Earlier this week, a convoy carrying USA and Afghan forces was struck by a roadside bomb and came under small arms fire.

In two separate incidents last week US service members in Afghanistan have been shot at by men dressed in Afghan army uniforms who were actually working for the Taliban.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who was recently given authority by President Donald Trump to set troop levels in the Afghan conflict, said last week that the United States is "not winning" in Afghanistan and that the Pentagon will present its strategy plan next month. Tabasim said one of the attackers detonated his suicide vest inside the compound.

A spokesman for the defense ministry said Sunday that the USA government needs to put "real pressure on Pakistan to make it drop its support for terrorists".

"The first attacker blew up his vehicle at the entrance to the headquarters, opening the way for two others who opened fire on security forces, and another suicide bomber was shot dead", Regional Police Commander Asadullah Shirzad was quoted by AFP as saying. A nearby police station and a training centre were also damaged by the explosion.

Analysts say such attacks are expected to increase this year as U.S. troops engage with the Afghan military to double the size of its special forces, considered to be effective in the fight against insurgents.

The Afghan lawmakers said peaceful protests and demonstrations are the right of the people but sit-in tents have created problems for the people and residents of Kabul city.

However, the Taliban have claimed credit for the shooting.

The bulk of the extra forces will train and advise Afghan troops, the official said, while a smaller number would be assigned to counterterror operations against the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) extremists. USA troops accused their Afghan allies of "pervasive illicit drug use, massive thievery, personal instability, dishonesty, no integrity, incompetence, unsafe weapons handling, corrupt officers. high AWOL rates, bad morale, laziness (and) repulsive hygiene". The U.S. has around 8,400 troops now deployed to the country.

Green-on-blue attacks have been a major problem during NATO's long years fighting alongside Afghan forces.



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