KABUL, Afghanistan -- Eight soldiers with the American-led military coalition were killed Saturday, making it the bloodiest day this year for Western troops fighting here.
Two were shot in an insider attack, one died in a small-arms attack and five Americans were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, according to statements from the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan officials.
The explosion that killed the five American soldiers took place in the Maiwand district in western Kandahar Province, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar. The soldiers were driving toward villages from central Maiwand when the attack occurred, he said. Capt. Dan Einert, a spokesman for the international coalition here, confirmed that the five soldiers were Americans.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the insider attack in Farah Province in western Afghanistan, where an Afghan National Army soldier turned his weapon on his trainers after an argument, said Lt. Col. Hajji Dil Jan, the deputy police chief of Farah Province.
A Taliban spokesman said in an e-mail that the gunman was from Farah Province.
The coalition said it would not confirm the nationality of the two soldiers who were killed because the next of kin had not yet been notified. But most of the troops in Farah are Americans. Colonel Jan said the gunman, who went by the name Quadratullah, was killed by American soldiers.
Insider attacks rose sharply in 2012, with 64 deaths in 48 attacks, more than in any previous year, Captain Einert said. The military has taken extensive measures to prevent them, and so far this year there have been just four episodes.
But with the Taliban's spring offensive now under way, military officials say they are expecting the militants to increase the use of the tactic.
The eighth casualty occurred in an attack in northern Afghanistan, Captain Einert said.
Sharifullah Sahak contributed reporting.world
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.