An American soldier died after Afghan soldiers shot him Wednesday.
The soldier, part of the leftover American military presence supporting NATO forces in Afghanistan, was apparently on security detail for an unnamed top American diplomat visiting a local governor in Jalalabad, in the eastern part of the country.
According to Reuters, the firefight erupted just after the diplomat evacuated the site via helicopter. It is unclear which side shot first.
Two other U.S. soldiers were injured in the incident, as well as two Afghans. (RELATED: SIGAR Skeptical Massive USAID Program Will Really Help Afghan Women)
So-called “green-on-blue” attacks — incidents where Afghan troops fired on their Western partners — were a continuous hazard for U.S. and other soldiers in the Western coalition before they officially withdraw in late 2014. The attacks, which “accounted for 15% of Coalition deaths” in 2012, had forced the American military to reduce its level of coordination with Afghan troops toward the end of its official combat mission there.
Wednesday’s clash constitutes the second such attack this year.
The causes of green-on-blue attacks remain unclear, though Taliban militants have touted the clashes as a sign of their infiltrating Afghan security forces. Western coalition commanders, meanwhile, are quick to blame personal and cultural differences between local and foreign soldiers.
The residual American troop commitment is part of the ongoing non-combat NATO mission to assist and advise the Afghan military. The Taliban, as well as fighters claiming allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, remain a persistent threat to Afghanistan’s security and stability.
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