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US Soldiers Wounded in Afghanistan in Possible Insider Attack

19 June 2017

Seven US troops were shot and wounded in an insider attack at a base in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said.

Last week three US soldiers were killed by an Afghan soldier in eastern Nangarhar province.

The Taliban did not directly claim the attack but described the soldier, who was killed, as a "patriot". One other Afghan soldier was wounded.

Such "indoor" attacks, in which Afghan soldiers or policemen return their weapons against members of the worldwide coalition responsible for them, is a recurring nightmare for Western forces in Afghanistan.

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In April, scores of Afghan soldiers were killed when fighters breached security at the camp, detonating explosives and shooting hundreds at a mosque and dining hall on the base.

Saturday's incident comes just days after President Donald Trump delegated authority to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to set USA troop levels in Afghanistan, opening the door for a possible of influx of forces that could number in the thousands. A spokeswoman for the German forces said that "according to what we know right now, no Germans were affected".

The incident took place inside the Afghan National Army's 209th Shaheen Military Corps garrison, said Qahar Aram, a spokesman for the corps.

Unofficial sources said that 25 police and civilians sustained injuries by the attack.

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A member of the 43rd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion moves into position during a June 10, 2015, joint force protection mission with USA forces outside Bagram Air Field in central Afghanistan.

American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of additional boots on the ground to boost the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troop presence in the country.

Atiqullah Amarkhel, a retired Afghan army general, said that the government is facing an agile guerrilla enemy and that United States needs to focus on cutting its "lines of supply and support and training" in Pakistan. A spokeswoman for the German forces at the joint missions command in Potsdam said: "According to what we know right now, no Germans were affected".

If confirmed, the insider attack would be the second in a week in Afghanistan.

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