A military operation in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province turned deadly on Saturday when US and Afghan forces were “directly fired upon.” A Military Times source was quoted as saying that at least two members of 7th Special Forces Group in Eastern Afghanistan were killed and several others wounded. That information on the amount of casualties was not confirmed by the US military as of the writing of this article.
Update Confirmed: 2 killed, 6 wounded. “Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district center, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun.” Army Col.Sonny Leggett, spokesman for USFOR-A
Mujib Mashal is a NYT reporter in Afghanistan:
Multiple sources tell us it is as many as five or six US fatalities. One official says 6 on Afghan side too.
US military is confirming an incident — “a combined US & Afghan force conducting an operation in Nangarhar was engaged by direct fire” — but not providing any details. https://t.co/Tb9CiyyCgW
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) February 8, 2020
The Military Times reported,
Numerous U.S troops were killed Saturday during a firefight in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times.
A military source, speaking to Military Times on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media, said at least two members of the 7th Special Forces Group — operating in eastern Afghanistan — were killed and several others wounded.
U.S. officials told Military Times they could not immediately confirm reports about casualties. However, an official did say that the U.S. and Afghan forces conducting an operation in Nangarhar Province were engaged by direct fire on Saturday, according Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces–Afghanistan.
“We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available,” he said in an emailed statement Saturday.
According to Agence Free-Press, the attack occurred in the Shirzad district military headquarters in Nangarhar Province. Nangarhar has been a hotbed of both Taliban and ISIS activity for years. Based on the location of the attack, it was likely a “green on blue” attack or insurgents posing as friendly military. Local media described it as an “insider attack.”
“Several helicopters landed in and departed from the HQ compound taking out casualties. We don’t know how many killed or wounded.” Afghan official to AFP
“Peace talks” continue with the Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for this attack as yet. “Green on blue” attacks have frequently killed US troops.
Approximately 12,000 US forces are in Afghanistan. President Trump wants them out. SecDef Mark Esper is looking to reduce the number of troops in that country to 8,600, regardless of the peace talks.
The number of US service members killed or injured and their names in this latest attack have not been revealed. We will update this story as the information is released.
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