An Afghan soldier shot and wounded three American soldiers Sunday at a base in southern Afghanistan, officials confirmed this weekend. The Afghan attacker was killed in the incident.
“3 US soldiers wounded when shot by Afghan soldier on a base in Helmand Province. US soldiers receiving medical care. Updates as appropriate,” the U.S.-led NATO mission tweeted.
The Afghan soldier opened fire inside the base and was shot dead, an Afghan official told the Associated Press.
An Afghan Army spokesman, Col. Mohammad Rasoul Zazai, told the AP that the soldier made a “mistake” and had not fired deliberately.
A U.S. military spokesman Navy Capt. William Salvin told Military Times the Afghan soldier was shot and killed by coalition security forces.
Salvin said the attack happened around 1:30 p.m. local time at Camp Antonik near a larger base known as Camp Shorabak that houses both U.S. and Afghan commando units.
A U.S. Army unit called Task Force Forge is embedded in Helmand and consists mostly of soldiers from the Indiana National Guard, according to the Times.
The 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are engaged in two missions — to train and advise Afghan forces as they continue to fight the Taliban and to conduct a counterterrorism mission against groups in the country, including a budding Islamic State presence.
ISIS militants stormed a military hospital in Kabul this month armed with guns and grenades and opened fire on staff and patients.
In 2014, Obama ended the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan and sought to withdraw all U.S. troops, except for an embassy presence in Kabul, but a resurgent Taliban forced the administration to slow its plans.
The White House is currently reviewing its Afghanistan policy and whether to send more U.S. troops.
The top U.S. commander, Army Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson, testified the war in Afghanistan was at a “stalemate” and that “several thousand” more troops, U.S. or international, would be needed to ensure Afghan forces defeat the Taliban.
Central Command Commander Army Gen. Joseph Votel told lawmakers this month: “I do believe it will involve additional forces to ensure that we can make the advise-and-assist mission … more effective.”
Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.S., Hamdullah Mohib, said his country would welcome additional troops and that he is encouraged by what he’s seen so far from the Trump administration.
So far, there’s been at least 15 U.S. personnel wounded in Afghanistan this year, according to the Times.