Gunman in Afghan police uniform kills 2 US troops

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KABUL, Afghanistan —A man in a police uniform opened fire on U.S. and Afghan soldiers today at a base in eastern Afghanistan, killing two American troops in what may be the latest in a series of insider attacks by Afghans against allied security forces.

Afghan news media reported that three Afghan soldiers also were killed in the shooting in Wardak, the volatile province in eastern Afghanistan where President Hamid Karzai last month ordered U.S. special forces troops to cease operations.

U.S. military officials said it was not immediately clear if the gunman was an Afghan police officer or posing as one.

Afghan officials in Wardak said there were multiple casualties but declined to discuss the incident further because investigators were still working at the scene of the attack at an Afghan army base in remote Jalrez district.

Insider attacks in Afghanistan spiked last year, with members of Afghan security forces killing 61 personnel from the U.S.-led coalition, the vast majority of them Americans.

U.S. military officials have said that some of the killings were carried out by Taliban infiltrators, but that many were the result of hostile feelings by Afghan soldiers and police toward coalition forces.

The attacks declined late last year after U.S. forces erected barriers between them and Afghans at shared bases, and began posting armed troops to stand guard when American service members interacted with Afghans.

Today marked the deadline for U.S. special forces to leave Wardak under orders from Karzai. Villagers in Wardak have accused the elite U.S. troops of abusing civilians, but U.S. and Afghan officials believe that the allegations were politically motivated.

American officials were pressing Karzai to allow the special operations forces to remain in Wardak, a strategically important province just southwest of Kabul, the capital.

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