Firefight in eastern Afghanistan leaves one invader US trooper dead
At least one US soldier has been killed after an afghan soldier opened fire on US troops in the in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar Province, US officials say.
“An incident in Jalalabad today resulted in the death of one Resolute Support service member,” the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan known as Resolute Support said on Wednesday.
The attack came after several officials from the US embassy in Afghanistan ended their meetings with provincial authorities in the city.
The meeting had been arranged between US Ambassador to Afghanistan Michael McKinley and the provincial governor, Javed Hamim Kakar, according to Afghan news agency, Pajhwok.
According to General Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, police chief for eastern Nangarhar Province, the afghan soldier opened fire on the US troops immediately after US officials left the compound of the provincial governor.
“Right after the US official had left, suddenly an Afghan army soldier opened fire on the US soldiers who were present in the compound,” Sherzad told the Associated Press, adding that US troops swiftly fired back at the soldier and killed him at the scene.
According to sources, the afghan soldier has been identified as Abdul Azim, originally from Laghman Province.
Some eyewitnesses claimed that at least four US soldiers have been hit in the attack. The injured soldiers were reportedly transferred to a clinic on the US base in Jalalabad for treatment.
“We are aware that there was an exchange of gunfire involving Resolute Support service members near the provincial governor’s compound in Jalalabad,” US Embassy spokeswoman, Monica Cummings, said.
The Wednesday incident is the second such attack on US citizens operating in Afghanistan in less than four months. On January 29, three US security contractors were killed after an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in the military zone of the Kabul airport.
Anti-US sentiments have been running high in Afghanistan, a country the US and allies invaded in 2001 under the pretext of fighting extremism and terrorism.
The military operation, however, led to a dramatic surge of violence and insecurity in Afghanistan.