U.S. Service Member Killed In ‘Apparent Insider Attack’ In Afghanistan, NATO Says
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Updated at 6:38 a.m. ET Sunday
A U.S. service member was killed and two others wounded in what NATO is calling "an apparent insider attack" in Afghanistan Saturday.
Details of the incident, which is under investigation, were not immediately released.
The identity of the service member who was killed will not be released until 24 hours after the next of kin has been notified, which is the policy of the U.S. Defense Department, NATO said in a statement.
NATO said the wounded service members are in stable condition.
The Taliban released a statement saying an Afghan soldier fired on U.S. troops in the province of Uruzgan, Reuters reported.
The attack comes a year after an Afghan soldier killed three U.S. service members during what was a joint operation.
Insider attacks are commonly referred to as "green on blue" attacks. They happen when "Afghan service members or attackers wearing Afghan uniforms fire on U.S. or coalition troops," Reuters notes, adding that such attacks "have been a regular feature of the conflict in Afghanistan, although their frequency has diminished in recent years."
The U.S. had more than 13,000 uniformed service members in Afghanistan as of fall 2017. But as NPR's David Welna reported last week, a "public information blackout" by the Trump administration has meant that "since late last year, the Pentagon's stopped posting those numbers for Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan."
NPR's Tom Bowman noted last month that "a permanent end in the fighting does not seem to be anywhere in sight" in Afghanistan. "The Taliban have gained ground, U.S. airstrikes have spiked to put pressure on the group to negotiate, and civilian casualties have increased — partly due to those airstrikes but mostly because of Taliban attacks, and some ISIS attacks."
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