United States soldiers killed in insider attack as Afghan soldier opens fire

The Afghan army soldier opened fire and killed the Americans, according to US and Afghan officials.

A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan said: "We are aware of an incident in Eastern Afghanistan".

"This incident is under investigation", the statement said.

Speaking in Milwaukee, Vice President Mike Pence offered his condolences.

"Allow me to take a moment to acknowledge what I learned about on my way to Wisconsin, the loss of service members that took place in Afghanistan".

Afghanistan has suffered a string of violent attacks in recent weeks after the Taliban launched their spring offensive, including attacks in the capital city of Kabul that killed and wounded hundreds. "The president and I have been briefed".

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a statement by Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, who said the shooting was committed by one of the group's fighters who had joined the Afghan army. "Additional information will be released as appropriate", the statement said Saturday. When heroes fall, Americans grieve. The shooter was killed by other soldiers.

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The timing could also be aimed at blunting the impact of Comey's testimony before the Senate intelligence committee Thursday. Chris Christie during the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

The Afghan branch of the Islamic State, known as ISIS-K, is mainly composed of militants pulled from other groups and has turned into one of the main counterterrorism efforts for the United States in Afghanistan.

The attack reportedly happened near the ISIS caves, where in April, the USA dropped the largest conventional weapon in its arsenal, the so-called, "mother of all bombs".

Rodgers and Thomas were killed during a joint Afghan-U.S. nighttime raid on an Islamic State headquarters building.

Similar attacks have also plagued Afghan troops, depleting morale and causing mistrust within security ranks.

On Friday two Afghan border police were killed by friendly fire - the first such incident since U.S. Marines returned to the country's southern region in May. This could allow US advisers to work with Afghan troops below the corps level, potentially putting them closer to fighting, a USA official said.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan number about 8,400 today, and there are another 5,000 from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

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