Three American personnel were killed in a bomb blast in the eastern region of Afghanistan today, while officials have confirmed that an Afghan soldier shot and killed a U.S. soldier and a local interpreter in the south a day prior.
NATO officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the bombing and the nationalities of Thursday's casualties, but could not provide further details because the information had not yet been publicly released, The Associated Press reported.
In the southern Kandahar province, an Afghan fighter opened fire with a machine gun from atop a building on a group of service members below, killing one U.S. soldier, an Afghan interpreter and injuring three other collation members whose nationalities were not immediately confirmed. The shooter, wearing an Afghan army uniform, was killed before he could escape.
Tensions between U.S. personnel and Afghanistan residents has been rising since the beginning of the year, and there have been at least 16 such attacks against American and coalition troops, despite plans to pull out all U.S. troops by 2014.
Last week, the LA Times released graphic photos of U.S. soldiers posing next to decimated bodies of suspected Afghan suicide bombers. One of the two-year-old photos featured American soldiers holding up the severed legs of a man's body, believed to be an Afghan suicide bomber. Officials warned that the photos could provoke further attacks on American troops by Taliban or Afghan extremists seeking revenge.
In other incidents, violent protests erupted in February over the accidental burning of Qurans by American soldiers at a NATO base, while the murder of 17 Afghan civilians, including nine children, allegedly by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in March has further increased hostile feelings from Afghans toward Americans.
According to Pentagon figures released in February, more than 80 NATO service members have been killed by Afghan security forces since 2007, and 75 percent of those attacks have occurred in the past two years.