Two US soldiers and three Afghan commandos were killed on Saturday when a man in an Afghan military uniform opened fire.

At least six other American soldiers were wounded in the incident during a joint operation in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province as US and Afghan troops tried to secure an area under threat from the Taliban.

US Army spokesman Col Sonny Leggett confirmed the two American fatalities and said six were wounded in the firefight after the attack in the Sherzad district of Nangarhar.

“Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district centre, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined US and Afghan force with a machinegun,” Col Leggett said.

He said the incident was under investigation but did not call it an insider attack, which are carried out by Afghans training with the US.

“We are still collecting information and the cause or motive behind the attack is unknown at this time,” Col Leggett said.

In a tweet, the US Army’s 7th Special Forces Group said several of its soldiers had been killed or injured during combat operations in Afghanistan.

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