Insurgents Killed In U.S. Air Strike After Attack On Afghan Forces
January 13, 2018
U.S. forces killed 10 insurgents in a compound in eastern Afghanistan in an air strike that was triggered by an insider attack on U.S. and Afghan soldiers, the U.S. military said on January 12.
U.S. Navy Captain Tom Gresback said the insurgents baited a coalition team, inviting them to a security shura meeting in the compound in the eastern province of Nangarhar on January 11. The coalition sent an Afghan militia leader, a U.S. service member, and an interpreter.
When the meeting ended, Gresback said the Taliban-linked insurgents opened fire, killing the militia leader and wounding the American service member and the interpreter. The Taliban quickly claimed credit for the attack.
The Taliban said the attack was carried out by two insurgents disguised as local militiamen. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The Associated Press the attackers had infiltrated the local force months earlier.
In Afghanistan, local militias are often paid by the United States to act as partners with U.S. troops in operations in remote regions.
Gresback said that after the wounded were moved to safety, a coalition air strike targeted the compound, killing 10 insurgents. The Taliban and local militia said as many as 13 fighters were killed in the air strike.
The incident occurred in Mohmand Valley, in Afghanistan's remote Achin district of Nangarhar province.
The incident was the lastest in a series of insider attacks against U.S. forces, including an attack in Achin district in June in which an Afghan commando opened fire, killing three U.S. personnel and wounding another.
U.S. and Afghan forces have been battling not only the Taliban but an affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group in the region.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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