Two US soldiers were killed and six others wounded by an Afghan soldier armed with a machine gun, the US army confirmed on Sunday.
The deaths occur at a delicate moment in the 18-year war, with President Donald Trump eager to bring troops home and end the longest conflict in US history.
The incident occurred Saturday night at a base in Sherzad district, in Nangarhar province, east of Afghanistan.
“Current reports indicate that an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined US and Afghan forces with a machine gun,” US and Afghan forces spokesman Sonny Leggett said in a statement on Sunday.
The defense ministry said an Afghan soldier was killed and three local security forces were injured during the shooting, adding that an investigation had begun while promising to continue fighting “terrorism” with the United States.
“Incidents like this have no negative effects on friendship and the spirit of cooperation and between the military forces of ANDSF and the US,” the ministry said in a statement.
Provincial governor Shah Mahmood Meyakhil had previously said that it was not immediately clear whether the incident was a deliberate act of an “infiltrate” or an accident.
“It was not a clash between the forces. We are investigating, ”said Meyakhil.
Leggett also emphasized that the cause or motive behind the attack was not immediately known.
In a tweet, the Seventh Group of Special Forces of the US Army. UU. (Airborne) said that “several” of his soldiers had been killed or injured during combat operations in Afghanistan.
According to Sherzad resident Najeebullah, who has a name, shots were heard coming from a base of nearby Afghan security forces on Saturday night, followed by immediate air evacuations.
“We heard the shots and immediately helicopters landed inside the base and evacuated the victims,” Najeebullah added.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid then declined to comment on the incident, saying in a message sent to AFP only that the insurgents were “investigating” the attack.
The US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been negotiating with the Taliban for approximately 18 months for an agreement that would see the Pentagon withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan.
Many are skeptical about the proposed deal and Trump himself declared “dead” talks in September amid Taliban violence.
Since then, negotiations resumed in Qatar.