An American service member was killed on Friday and two others were injured when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them, officials said. It is the latest attack in a series of Afghan soldiers turning their weapons against coalition forces.
The shooting took place at around 9 a.m. local time at a check-post in the Ghaziabad district of eastern Kunar province, reportedly after a verbal argument between the U.S. and Afghan soldiers. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed on of their service members was killed.
The multinational force did not release other details about the incident, including information about the gunman, the exact time and location of the attack, and whether there were any injuries. But a U.S. military official confirmed the victim was a U.S. soldier while two other service members were injured, although their conditions were not made public.
The shooting attack, apparently carried out by an Afghan National Army soldier, is the latest in a series of attacks by Afghan security forces against foreign troops. "The incident is under investigation," ISAF said, although other details about such incidents or the outcome of any investigation are rarely made public.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed one of its fighters was behind the shooting, although the insurgent group frequently claims credit for attacks or accidents it played no role in. "The said spirited Afghan had been enlisted in the puppets' army for that very purpose and after accomplishing his heroic mission joined Mujahideen (Muslim fighters) of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) safe and sound with his machine gun and an American heavy machine gun," Mujahid said.
Meanwhile, also on Friday, another ISAF service member was killed as a result of an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan. "It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities," the alliance said in a brief statement, without giving other details.
With Friday's incident, at least 20 coalition service members have been killed by Afghan security forces this year alone. Last Sunday, another person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform killed an American service member before coalition forces returned fire and killed the gunman. A U.S. second soldier was injured.
There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.