Afghanistan Attack Puts U.S. Troop Deaths At 2,000
Two Americans and three Afghan troops were killed in a firefight between U.S. forces and the Afghan army in eastern Afghanistan Sunday morning, NATO reported.
The attack brought the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan to 2,000.
The number elicited a response from various papers, including USA Today which wrote:
"[The attack is] a cold reminder of the human cost of an 11-year-old conflict that now garners little public interest at home as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its combat forces by the end of 2014."
The recent attack initially started Saturday at a check point in Wardak province. In what is believed to be an insider attack, insurgents fired mortar at the checkpoint, which prompted Americans to think they were under attack. They then fired on the check point, prompting Afghan soldiers to return fire, the Washington Post reported.
Authorities had different accounts of the situation, the Huffington Post reported.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said the gunbattle was the result of a "misunderstanding" between international forces and Afghan soldiers manning a checkpoint in the Sayd Abad district.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force provided a different account.
"After a short conversation took place between (Afghan army) and ISAF personnel firing occurred which resulted in the fatal wounding of an ISAF soldier and the death of his civilian colleague," the coalition said in a statement. It said the three Afghan soldiers died "in an ensuing exchange of fire."
NATO did not say whether it considered this an "insider" attack on foreign forces by Afghan allies.
Whether or not this was an insider attack, continued insider attacks on American troops has sparked anger and frustration with American and NATO forces.
In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” to be aired Sunday, Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan expressed his thoughts on the situation, the Washington Post reported.
“I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you,” Allen said. “It reverberates everywhere across the United States. You know, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we’re not willing to be murdered for it.”
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