KABUL – An Afghan soldier shot dead three U.S. troops Saturday, officials said, the latest “insider attack” to shake efforts by the two armies to work together to defeat Taliban militants.
“Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members died when an individual wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform shot them in eastern Afghanistan today,” a statement from the coalition said.
An Afghan official said the attack happened during a training session in the insurgency-hit province of Paktia. The Afghan soldier opened fire on U.S. soldiers, killing two on the spot. A third later died of his wounds. The attacker was killed when Americans and Afghan soldiers returned fire.
There have been seven insider attacks so far this year against coalition forces, compared with 48 in 2012. ISAF officials say the decline has been due to better vetting, counterintelligence and cultural awareness. Foreign soldiers working with Afghan forces are regularly watched over by “guardian angel” troops to provide protection from their supposed allies.