KABUL, Afghanistan – A soldier from the U.S.-trained Afghan army apparently turned his weapon on American troops in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing at least two U.S. soldiers, NATO officials said Saturday.
The incident is the latest that calls into question the allegiances of at least some members of the Afghan security forces, which the Obama administration hopes will be the key to an eventual withdrawal of roughly 100,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
A NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is still under investigation, said the shootings took place late Thursday in southern Helmand province. The area has been the site of intense fighting between the Taliban-led insurgency and thousands of additional troops President Barack Obama sent to Afghanistan this year.
Few other details of the clash were immediately available. CNN quoted a Taliban statement from a militant website as saying the Afghan soldier shot the U.S. troops on an American base in Helmand’s Sangin district.
Just last week, a squad of Afghanistan’s national police in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, were reported to have crossed sides to the Taliban, although the details of precisely what occurred are murky.
The International Security Assistance Force said two other allied soldiers died from insurgent attacks Saturday, one in the country’s south and one in the east.