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Three Americans killed in Afghanistan insider attack, officials say

Three Americans were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday when a man in an Afghan National Army uniform opened fire, the military said in a statement.

The attack happened in the eastern province of Paktika amid ongoing concerns about so-called “insider attacks” in which people who are apparently allies of U.S. and other foreign forces in the country suddenly open fire.

In a statement, the International Security Assistance Force said two U.S. service members and a U.S. civilian were killed “when an individual wearing an ANA uniform turned his weapon against” them.

“ISAF and Afghan officials are continuing to assess the incident and more information will be released as appropriate,” the statement said.

Insider attacks accounted for one in every five combat deaths suffered by NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and 16 percent of all American combat casualties according to 2012 data, Reuters reported.

Last year, a surge in such attacks prompted NATO to temporarily curtail some joint operations with Afghan government forces.

Also on Saturday, an Italian soldier was killed and three were wounded when a child threw a grenade at a NATO convoy in the western province of Farah, a spokesman for the governor and a Taliban spokesman said.

"A brave, heroic 11-year-old Afghan child hurled a hand grenade at dismounted Italian troops in Farah city," the Taliban said in an English-language statement.

The four deaths on Saturday bring to 16 the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month, and come two days after seven Georgian soldiers were killed in a suicide car-bomb attack in the southern province of Helmand. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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