Three U.S. soldiers were killed and a fourth injured Saturday according to the Defense Department in an apparent inside attack during field operations in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it has successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces to commit a “green-on-blue” attack, one in which an Afghani soldier attacks Coalition troops.
The incident took place in the Achin district in Nangarhar province on the eastern border with Pakistan. A Taliban stronghold and a volatile area, it is the same region in which four U.S. soldiers died earlier this year.
According to officials, the Taliban terrorist posing as an Afghani soldier was the commander of an 11-man unit and he opened fire on American troops during a field operation. He was killed when U.S. and Afghani troops returned fire.
A Pentagon press release describing the incident read:
“Three US soldiers were killed in eastern Afghanistan today. One US soldier was wounded and has been evacuated for medical treatment. Next of kin notification is underway. This incident is under investigation. Additional information will be released as appropriate.”
Shortly before the incident occurred, three Afghan Border Police officials were killed and two more injured overnight via U.S. “friendly fire” in southern Afghanistan during a raid in Helmand province.
A growing problem, over 90 “green-on-blue” attacks have occurred since 2008.
An Afghani soldier, identified as Kazem, told Al Jazeera that such Taliban attacks are planned, but most “green-on-blue” incidents are spur of the moment.
“Such attacks are well planned when they are done by the Taliban. It seems most of them are manipulated and dragged into the trick of ‘fighting for Islam’,” he said.
“Sometimes the Taliban also kidnap a family member of the soldier and blackmail him to kill the U.S. troops to cause a maximum number of casualties in such attacks.”
[Task & Purpose] [Reuters] [Al Jazeera] [Photo courtesy AFP via Sputnik News]