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US, Afghan forces come under ‘direct fire’ in Nangarhar

KABUL: US and Afghan troops came under “direct fire” in eastern Afghanistan late on Saturday, a US military official said, in an incident local media described as an “insider” attack.

“A combined US and Afghan force conducting an operation in Nangarhar province was engaged by direct fire on Feb 8”, US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett said in a statement.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the apparent “green-on-blue” attack — where Afghan security forces target international soldiers with whom they are working.

An Afghan official said the attack happened in the Shirzad district military headquarters, and that foreign forces had cordoned off the area.

The latest incident comes even as US and Taliban negotiators are seeking reach a deal that would allow the United States to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan after more than 18 years of war.

Last year was the deadliest for US forces in Afghanistan since combat operations officially finished at the end of 2014, highlighting the challenging security situation that persists.

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