Three United States soldiers died Friday in southern Afghanistan when an officer with the Afghan National Police opened fire at a police checkpoint. Officials have not identified the victims.
The shooting occurred shortly before dawn in the Sangin district of Helmand province. According to district chief Mohammad Sharif, the soldiers had just finished a meal and security meeting with Afghan authorities. The gunman, who has been identified as Asadullah by Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi, fled the area after the shooting and joined the Taliban. NATO and Afghan troops are currently searching for Asadullah.
A U.S. Defense Department official speaking anonymously said the deceased were Marines in Special Operations Forces. The force’s mission is to help stabilize the area and train Afghan local police.
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