Czech soldier killed in apparent insider attack in Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A Czech member of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan was killed and two others wounded on Monday in the western province of Herat, the Czech Defence Ministry said.

Earlier, the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul said initial reports indicated the attack was carried out by a member of the Afghan security forces. It had not released the nationality of the service members.

The Czech ministry said in a statement that the two injured soldiers had been taken to Bagram military hospital and did not face life-threatening injuries. The attack was on a vehicle, it said but gave no further details although a spokeswoman said the incident occurred on a base.

The Czech ministry and local officials said the attack happened in Shindand district to the south of Herat city, an area with heavy Taliban presence.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, a spokesman for the insurgents said in an emailed statement.

The attack was the latest in a series this year in which U.S. or coalition troops have been killed by Afghan soldiers or police. Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said training and vetting of Afghan forces was being stepped up to minimise the so-called insider attacks.

The incident came only days after the NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, escaped unhurt when the bodyguard of a provincial governor opened fire on a group of U.S. and Afghan officials in the southern province of Kandahar.

In August, three Czech soldiers were killed in a suicide attack, the deadliest incident involving the Czech army’s foreign missions in four years.

Reporting by James Mackenzie and Jalil Ahmad Rezayee; additional reporting by Jason Hovet in Prague; Editing by Mark Heinrich and David Stamp