Seven U.S. soldiers fell prey to an “insider attack” at a base in northern Afghanistan Saturday, according to U.S. military officials. At least one Afghan was also killed in the incident, while another was injured.
The seven soldiers were evacuated after being injured in the incident at Camp Shareen, the headquarters of the Afghan Army's 209 Corps in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Earlier announcements by Afghan Army spokesperson Abdul Qahar Araam claimed that an Afghan soldier had shot and killed four U.S. soldiers inside the base.
It remains unclear as to whether the slain Afghan, who is reported to have been a commando, was the perpetrator of the attack.
However, the Taliban have claimed credit for the shooting.
“Our Mujahid nation shall forever celebrate and write down the heroics of such valiant Afghan soldiers in history books with pens of gold,” the Taliban said in a statement on their website, adding that “these attacks are a reminder that increasing the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan shall never break the will of this independence loving and patriotic nation."
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The attack is the second to occur within the last week. Last Saturday, an Afghan commando fatally shot three U.S. soldiers and wounded a fourth during a joint U.S.-Afghan military operation.
U.S. troops and other NATO personnel have been forced to contend with so-called “Green-on-Blue” insider attacks throughout their occupation of Afghanistan, as Taliban supporters and Afghan patriots within the security forces have turned their guns on their European and U.S. colleagues.
In April, a group of ten Taliban soldiers dressed in Afghan Army uniforms attacked Camp Shaheen, detonating explosives and shooting hundreds at a mosque and dining hall on the base, killing 140 members of the 209 Corps and injuring 160, according to the government. However, local media reported that 256 soldiers, mainly new recruits, were killed in the Taliban operation.
On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that the Pentagon plans on sending an additional 4,000 U.S. troops to the country for the purpose of training and advising Afghan forces and taking part in counterinsurgency operations against Taliban and Islamic State group militants.