The incident took place Saturday in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, where US forces are carrying out a security operation.
“A combined US and Afghan force conducting an operation in Nangarhar province was engaged by direct fire on Feb. 8,” US forces in Afghanistan spokesperson Col. Sonny Leggett told reporters Saturday afternoon.
The spokesman confirmed that the US had suffered casualties, but did not say how many. “We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available,” Leggett said.
Unconfirmed media reports suggest that up to six US troops and six Afghan troops have been killed.
New York Times Afghanistan correspondent Mujib Mashal says the troops may have been killed in a “green on blue” incident, i.e. an attack where Afghan servicemembers turn their weapons on the NATO troops they’re deployed with.
Freelance Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary reported that multiple sources told him that the incident was indeed a green on blue scenario, and that it took place in Nangarhar’s Shirzad district.
An anonymous Afghan official told AFP that coalition forces have since cordoned off the area.
Situated along the porous border with Pakistan, Nangarhar province once served as the home base of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Nearly two decades after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, US, NATO and Afghan forces continue to come under attack by the Taliban in the…