Afghan Taliban fighters have seized the administrative headquarters of the Musa Qala district in Helmand Province after a week of heavy fighting, the latest in a series of setbacks for Afghan government security forces in the area.
The Taliban has recently used more so-called “insider attacks”, creating a climate of tension between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation trainers and their hosts.
Coalition forces returned fire, wounding the shooter and another individual also wearing an Afghan military uniform, a statement from the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan said.
NATO’s Resolute Support coalition said U.S. aircraft had dropped bombs on Musa Qala nine times in the past 24 hours, and that some foreign soldiers were helping on the ground.
“We left the district early in the morning because the Taliban were attacking from all sides”, district governor Mohammad Sharif told Reuters by telephone.
The attack took placed in the southern Hemland province of Afghanistan.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Meanwhile, at least 11 people, majority children, were killed in a series of explosions at an Afghan gas storage facility, which triggered a massive inferno in a nearby settlement for displaced people, officials said Tuesday.
“Afghan and Resolute Support officials are reviewing the incident and further information will be released as available and appropriate”, the alliance said. Taliban militants have been known to don Afghan police or military uniforms to carry out shootings on worldwide troops.
In January, an Afghan soldier killed three American civilian contractors at a base near Kabul’s global airport. Others have opened fire apparently on the own accord, like an Afghan soldier who a year ago killed Maj.
And in April, an American soldier was killed in a firefight between US and Afghan troops in eastern Afghanistan, the first apparent insider attack since Washington announced a delay in troop withdrawals from the country. “Hope (Afghan security forces) will move swiftly to regain full control”, European Union Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin posted on Twitter. Since 2001, when U.S. forces invaded the country to oust the Taliban for harboring al-Qaeda leaders, more than 1,800 U.S. troops have died in combat.