Two US troops gunned down by Afghan soldier in Afghanistan

Names of soldiers withheld until next of kin are notified

A US soldier from Viper Company (Bravo), 1-26 Infantry stands on a guard tower as the sun rises at Combat Outpost (COP) Sabari in Khost province in the east of Afghanistan on June 23, 2011.  President Barack Obama ordered all 33,000 US surge troops home from Afghanistan by next summer and declared the beginning of the end of the war, vowing to turn to nation building at home. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE
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Two US troops were shot dead by an Afghan soldier in Afghanistan on Monday, US officials have confirmed, as Washington’s envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visits the country.

The Nato-led Resolute Support mission gave no further details and withheld the names of the soldiers until next of kin were notified.

US President Donald Trump last week said that he could wipe out the country if we wanted to, leading to greater tension between the two countries.

“I have plans on Afghanistan that, if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. It would be gone,” Mr Trump said from the White House last Monday as he received Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“It would be over in 10 days. I don’t want to go that route."

Mr Trump's comments outraged the government in Kabul. The presidential palace said that “the Afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate".

A crowd at a rally in Kabul for presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar chanted "Death to America, Death to Trump" last Friday, the Voice of America reported.

But on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated that more than 8,000 American troops in Afghanistan would start to leave the country next year.

Under a directive from Mr Trump, American troops would start moving out of Afghanistan before the November 2020 elections, Mr Pompeo told an event at The Economic Club in Washington.

US Special representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is currently in Kabul and visited Afghan soldiers injured in the 18-year-long war.

Mr Khalilzad will also travel to Qatar this week to continue US talks with the Taliban on a peace agreement in Afghanistan.