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Taliban Claim Afghan Attack Killing 2 Americans

Afghan soldiers, left, walk past a U.S. Army soldier outside of a military base in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban claimed responsibility Friday for killing two American servicemembers in southern Uruzgan province, in what may have been the latest insider attack against Western troops.

In an emailed statement, Taliban spokesman Jusuf Ahmadi said a member of the Afghan security forces shot the two men the day before and then escaped to join the insurgents.

A spate of insider attacks has undermined trust between international troops and Afghan army and police, further weakened public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries and increased calls for earlier withdrawals.

Maj. Lori Hodge, spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said on Thursday that authorities were trying to determine whether the latest attacker was a member of the Afghan security forces or an insurgent who donned a government uniform.

It was the second suspected insider attack in two days. On Wednesday, two British troops and an Afghan policeman were gunned down in Helmand province.

Before Thursday's assault, 53 foreigners attached to the U.S.-led coalition had been killed in attacks by Afghan soldiers or police this year.

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