Taliban claims responsibility for Afghan soldier killing 2 US soldiers

Several members of the Afghan security forces were killed on Friday when a U.S. military aircraft opened fire during an overnight operation in Helmand province.

A spokesperson for Nangarhar province, Attaullah Khogyani, told Al Jazeera that an Afghan "army commando" opened fire on four U.S. soldiers.

The bomb blast was one of the worst such attacks in the country since the arrival of American troops in 2001.

"Today at around noon an Afghan commando opened fire on USA troops in Achin district, killing two American soldiers". The group named the attacker as Obaidullah from Kunar province, releasing a photo purporting to be him. He said the Afghan soldier was killed after the attack.

The Afghan conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime.

There are about 8,400 United States troops in Afghanistan.

Kazem, an Afghan army soldier, said that such attacks are sometimes planned by the Taliban, but most of the time it is caused by minor disagreements between the two sides.

The latest insider attack also happened as U.S. President Donald Trump was reportedly mulling over increasing troop levels for Afghanistan.

Trump is at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at an event in Milwaukee, briefly addressed the attack.

"When heroes fall Americans grieve", Pence added. "Our hopes and prayers are with their families". American officials say the military has proposed sending an additional 2,000 to 4,000 USA troops to Afghanistan, but the number may ultimately depend on how many additional troops are committed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners. A fourth soldier was wounded and is being treated for injuries.

The so-called "green-on-blue" attack on Saturday is the latest in a line of incidents where Afghan soldiers have turned their weapons on worldwide forces they are working with.

"Green on blue" violence, or insider attacks by Afghan soldiers on USA or other foreign troops, have become rare as coalition forces have mostly withdrawn from Afghanistan.

Such strikes have bred fierce mistrust between local and foreign forces.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops have adopted special security measures in recent years to try to counter the threat.

The attack comes soon after a case of friendly fire against Afghan forces.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two others wounded after an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, according to Afghan officials.

With the motive behind the shooting unclear, an investigation has been launched into the incident, according to a provincial security official, who did not want to be named.

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