Rogue Afghan soldier kills US troops, compatriots

An Afghan soldier turned his gun on American troops at a checkpoint in the country’s east, killing two Americans and two fellow members of Afghanistan’s army in a shooting that marked both the continuance of a disturbing trend of insider attacks and the 2,000th US troop death in the long-running war, officials said on Sunday.

The string of insider attacks is one of the greatest threats to Nato’s mission in the country, endangering a partnership key to training up Afghan security forces and withdrawing international troops.

Saturday’s shooting took place at an Afghan army checkpoint just outside a joint USAfghan base in Wardak province, said Shahidullah Shahid, a provincial government spokesman. At least two Afghan soldiers died, he said.

“Initial reports indicate that a misunderstanding happened between Afghan army soldiers and American soldiers,” Shahid said. He said investigators had been sent to the site to try to figure out what happened. It was not clear if the assailant was killed.

The attack happened around 5 pm in Sayd Abad district, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Gen Zahir Azimi said in an emailed statement.

He did not provide further details.

Nato forces announced the assault early Sunday morning, saying only that it was “suspected insider attack” and that a Nato service member and civilian contractor were killed.

One US official confirmed that the service member killed was American, while another confirmed that the civilian was also American. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the nationality of the dead had not yet been formally announced.

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