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7 US Troops Wounded in Afghanistan Insider Attack

A member of the 43rd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion moves into position during a June 10, 2015, joint force protection mission with U.S. forces outside Bagram Air Field in central Afghanistan. CARLO MUNOZ/STARS AND STRIPES
A member of the 43rd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion moves into position during a June 10, 2015, joint force protection mission with U.S. forces outside Bagram Air Field in central Afghanistan. CARLO MUNOZ/STARS AND STRIPES

Updated 12:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Seven U.S. troops were shot and wounded in an insider attack Saturday at a base in northern Afghanistan, officials said.

The service members, who weren't immediately identified, were medically evacuated from Camp Shaheen in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province, according to an updated statement from the press office of Operation Resolute Support, the U.S. and NATO mission to train and advise Afghan forces.

One Afghan soldier was killed and another was hurt in the attack that occurred around 2 p.m. local time on June 17.

"We are aware of an incident," the office said in an earlier statement. "At this time we can confirm there are no U.S. or NATO Resolute Support fatalities. U.S. soldiers have been wounded. One Afghan soldier was killed and one was wounded in the incident."

The office said the incident is under investigation and pledged to release more information as it becomes available.

Camp Shaheen, where the 209th Corps is based, was also the site of a large Taliban attack in April that inflicted heavy casualties among Afghan troops.

The insider attack marks the second in a week in Afghanistan.

Three U.S. Army soldiers -- Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, California; and Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, North Carolina -- were killed June 10 when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in Peka Valley, located in Nangarhar Province.

So far this year, six U.S. service members have been killed in combat in Afghanistan, all in Nangarhar in the eastern part of the country, according to statistics compiled by the website icasualties.org.

The U.S. currently has roughly 8,400 troops in Afghanistan (excluding those in country on a temporary basis), while NATO and coalition allies have a total of about 5,000 forces.

Defense Secretary James Mattis is set to decide in coming weeks on whether to grant the request of Army Gen. John Nicholson, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to deploy between 3,000 and 5,000 additional forces to the country.

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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