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Seven US soldiers wounded in Afghan 'insider attack'

AFP  |  Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan) 

Seven American troops were wounded today in an insider attack by an soldier at a military base, as the US appears set to boost its troop presence in the country.

The shootout at Camp Shaheen near northern Mazar-i-Sharif city is the second "green-on-blue" attack -- where soldiers turn their weapons on international forces assisting them -- reported this week.

It comes as is expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment in the country to bolster forces who are struggling to contain the Taliban's nationwide offensive.

"Seven US service members wounded, evacuated for treatment," US-led forces said in a brief statement on Twitter. "Insider attack Camp Shaheen, Mazar-e Sharif under investigation."

The military coalition had earlier said that one soldier had been killed and another wounded in the incident.

The in a statement did not say if they were directly behind the attack, only crediting a "patriotic soldier" for the assault.

The latest attack comes just a week after an commando killed three American troops and wounded another in eastern Nangarhar province, in an insider attack that was claimed by the

Camp Shaheen is the headquarters of the army's 209th Corps where around 150 soldiers and policemen were killed in April when it was stormed by fighters dressed in military uniforms and armed with suicide vests.

Green-on-blue attacks have been a major problem during NATO's long years fighting alongside forces. Western officials say most insider attacks stem from personal grudges and cultural misunderstandings rather than insurgent plots.

Analysts say such attacks are expected to increase this year as US troops engage with the military to double the size of its special forces, considered to be effective in the fight against insurgents.

The latest insider attack comes at a time of intensified violence and when the United States is actively considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week that he will present a new US military strategy for Afghanistan, along with adjusted troop numbers, in the coming weeks to President Donald Trump.

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

US troops in Afghanistan currently number about 8,400, with another 5,000 from allies, who mainly serve in a training and advisory capacity.

The conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led forces at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the regime.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 17 2017. 22:57 IST