Monday, December 18, 2017

Gunmen in Afghan uniform kill U.S. soldier

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two gunmen wearing Afghan army uniforms killed a U.S. soldier and wounded two others Tuesday, officials said.

The gunmen fired on NATO troops at a base in Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, the latest in a rising number of so-called green-on-blue attacks in which Afghan security forces, or insurgents disguised in their uniforms, kill their U.S. or NATO partners.

The military coalition did not disclose the nationality of the service member killed, but a U.S. official said he was American. A second American official said two U.S. service members were wounded. The official said the gunmen were in custody.

This year, 27 coalition troops have been killed in 20 such attacks, according to an Associated Press tally. That compares with 20 deaths the previous year.

In other violence Tuesday, the Taliban also claimed responsibility for a blast at a NATO base in Logar province, southeast of Kabul. Police said at least 11 Afghan civilians were wounded.

And a remote-controlled roadside bomb struck a bus traveling northwest of Kabul, killing at least nine passengers, police said. They said the militant who set off the device was captured and beaten by villagers in the Paghman district of Kabul province.

Official resigns: Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak stepped down Tuesday after a weekend no-confidence vote in parliament. Lawmakers voted to oust Wardak and Interior Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi, faulting them for what they said was the government's weak response to cross-border attacks from Pakistan.

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