Three US troops 'killed by Afghan soldier in insider attack'

Three American soldiers were killed and one wounded on Saturday when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan, according to officials.

A Taliban infiltrator in the Afghan army has shot two US soldiers dead before he got killed in a return fire, Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial government in Nangarhar told Anadolu Agency.

Several American servicemen have been killed and injured after coming under fire in a "green-on-blue" attack in eastern Afghanistan, the Pentagon has announced.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the soldier was a Taliban infiltrator. So-called "green-on-blue" attacks-when Afghan soldiers or police turn their guns on global troops-have been a major problem during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) long years fighting alongside Afghan forces.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the wounded soldier has been evacuated for medical treatment. "We will release more information when appropriate", Douglas High, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support, told The Washington Post.

"On my way here, I was informed that USA service members were killed and wounded at an attack in Afghanistan", Pence said Saturday at a speech in Milwaukee.

One US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the incident was a "green-on-blue" attack by a member of the Afghan security forces.

Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the Helmand governor, put the toll at three policemen killed and two wounded.

Omar Zawak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand, said the deaths occurred when a U.S. aircraft fired on Afghan police, the statement said.

Nevertheless, the Telegraph points out, "the Afghan government is funding schools and hospitals run by the Taliban as the militant group seeks to establish itself as a legitimate administration in large swathes of the country, a new film has found".

American troops have partnered with Afghan soldiers in raids against IS Khorasan, claiming the local offshoot of the militant group based in Iraq and Syria is steadily losing ground in Afghanistan.

It said the officers were killed when a United States aircraft "returned fire" during the operation, which included Afghan and American special forces. Similar incidents have also plagued Afghan troops, depleting morale and causing mistrust within security ranks.

There are about 8,400 USA troops in Afghanistan.

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