July 31 (UPI) -- The Pentagon identified the two U.S. Army soldiers killed during an apparent insider attack earlier this week.
The soldiers were identified by the Department of Defense in a statement on Tuesday as Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, of Stryker, Ohio, and Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, Illinois.
Their deaths are under investigation, the Department of Defense said.
Both paratroopers died Monday in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province due to wounds "sustained in a combat-related incident," the Department of Justice said.
Ahmad Sadiq, spokesman for the Afghan army's 205th Crops, said the two U.S. soldiers were shot by an Afghan soldier at a base in the Shah Wali Kot district, the Stars and Stripes reported.
"We and our foreign colleagues are working hard together to eliminate the enemies of this country, the enemies of Afghanistan and humanity," he told the U.S. military newspaper over the phone. "It is unfortunate that some of our soldiers will open fire on foreign troops or even on their Afghan colleagues."
The shooter was wounded and taken into police custody, he said.
Army Col. Artur Sellers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne, confirmed Monday that it had lost two of its paratroopers.
"As you read this, rear detachment leaders are gathering resources and will make them available to the paratroopers' loved ones to help them in this most difficult time," he said in a blog post. "The expertise of every staff member of this brigade and in the 82nd Airborne Division will be utilized to ensure the families of the fallen are taken care of."
Their deaths also occurred on the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said President Donald Trump instructed his administration to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan prior to the 2020 election.
"He's been unambiguous: End the endless wars," Pompeo said during a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. "Draw down. Reduce. It won't just be us."
As of Tuesday, three U.S. soldiers have died this month in Afghanistan and 12 have died on the year, nine of which were classified as "hostile," according to the Defense Casualty Analysis System.
There are approximately 14,000 U.S. troops in the country.