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Two U.S. troops were killed on Tuesday after an individual wearing an Afghan military uniform opened fire on their vehicle in southern Afghanistan.

“We are deeply saddened by reports out of Afghanistan overnight,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters on Wednesday.

The attack happened at an Afghan security force compound in Helmand Province, Davis said.

{mosads}Coalition forces returned fire, wounding the shooter and another individual also wearing an Afghan military uniform, according to a statement from the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan.

Afghan and coalition officials are reviewing the incident and further information will be released as appropriate and available, Davis said.

Per Pentagon policy, the names of the deceased will be held for 24 hours pending notification of next of kin, he added.

Afghan officials in Helmand told the New York Times that the troops were part of a group of Americans who had arrived in Helmand earlier in the week.

One Afghan provincial official said the shooting occurred when the Afghan guards on duty asked the U.S. troops for identification but were ignored.

A senior Afghan military official said the troops arrived to help plan a counteroffensive against the Taliban in the Musa Qala district of Helmand, after a week of heavy fighting. 

On Wednesday, Taliban fighters seized an administrative building in the district, despite support from coalition airstrikes, Radio Free Afghanistan reported.

The district chief told the news outlet that Afghan security forces were exhausted and stretched thin trying to defend too much territory against the Taliban in recent weeks.

The attack follows a spate of suicide bombings in the capital against Afghan and coalition officials. 

On Saturday, at least 12 people, including three U.S. contractors, were killed when a suicide car bomber attacked a coalition convoy in Kabul.

Earlier in the month, three separate suicide bomb attacks on a single day killed more than 50, including a U.S. and coalition service member.

Those attacks also took place in Kabul, one at a main road, another at a police academy, and one at a coalition base.

Approximately 9,800 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan training and advising Afghan national security forces, as well as conducting a counterterrorism mission.

That number was originally slated to be around 5,400 by the end of this year, but that was revised in the face of an ongoing threat from the Taliban.

Defense officials say the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has also established a nascent presence in three Afghan provinces, including in Nangarhar, Farah and Helmand Provinces.

The U.S. troop presence is currently scheduled to draw down to all but an embassy security force by the end of next year, but administration officials are due to review the pace of the drawdown this fall.

This story was updated at 8/27/15 at 7:34 a.m.

Tags Afghanistan Helmand Province International Security Assistance Force Musa Qala War in Afghanistan

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