Just in from Fox News a U.S. major general was shot and killed today by a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform, he opened fire at an army training academy outside Kabul, the Associated Press reported.
I’m passing this on for those who may not have heard this latest news report. There were at least 15 soldiers (mostly Americans and some Germans) also reported as being wounded in this horrendous close-range assassination style attack.
The details pertaining to the attack were not immediately available at a base located west of the capital, Kabul. Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry, has indicated a “terrorist in an army uniform” opened fire on both international and local troops. He indicated that the shooter has been killed and that three Afghan army officers suffered wounds too.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press an American soldier was killed but that about a dozen of those wounded were Americans, they declined to make any further comments. This official was speaking on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details about the attack by name on the record.
Fox News said a senior U.S. military official had stated that one of the dead was an ISAF service member and the shooting had left a significant number of wounded both Americans and Afghans. A German brigadier general was also wounded and the German military has said he was receiving medical treatment and was not in a life-threatening condition.
Germany’s military announced that one NATO soldier was killed and 15 NATO soldiers had been wounded in an assault launched by probably internal attackers.
Qargha known as “Sandhurst in the sand,” as British forces were overseeing the building of the officer school and its training program. The British Defense Ministry made a statement saying, “It is investigating the incident and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
This attack comes as so-called “insider attacks,” incidents where Afghan security turns on their NATO partners, dropped largely last year. There were 16 deaths in 10 separate attacks in 2013; and such attacks killed 53 coalition troops in 38 separate attacks in 2012.
While the U.S. led military coalition continues a withdrawal to be completed by the end of the year, foreign aid workers, contractors and other civilians in Afghanistan are ring increasingly becoming targets of violence.
An Afghan police guard, in eastern Paktia province, also exchanged fire today with NATO troops near the governor’s office, according to provincial police chief Gen. Zelmia Oryakhail. The guard was killed in the gunfight, Gen. Oryakhail indicated. It wasn’t clear if the two incidents were linked and police were investigating the incident.
Meanwhile today, a NATO helicopter strike targeting missile-launching Taliban militants killed four civilians in western Afghanistan, an Afghan official said today. NATO says they’re investigating the attack.
The attack in western Herat province comes as civilian casualties from NATO attacks remain a contentious issue across the country. Approximately 200 people protested against NATO in Herat today, carrying the bodies of the dead civilians into the provincial capital and demanding an investigation.
The strike happened Monday night in the province’s Shindan district according to Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial chief of police. He said Taliban militants had launched a missile at an airport nearby, drawing the NATO helicopter’s fire; and he stated the NATO attack killed two men, one woman and a child.
NATO made a statement saying that it was aware of the attack and was investigating without elaborating.
NATO said, “It takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously, and is assessing the facts surrounding the incident.”
Civilians are increasingly finding themselves under fire as the 2001 U.S. led war draws to a close, as Afghan forces take the lead in operations targeting the Taliban. Afghanistan’s civilian death toll in the war has risen 17 percent for the first half of this year, the United Nations reported in July. The U.N. said 1,564 civilians were killed from January through June, compared with 1,342 in the first six months of 2013.
The U.N. blamed insurgents as being responsible for 74 percent of the casualties, while pro-government forces were responsible for 9 percent, government forces 8 percent and foreign troops just 1 percent; and the remainder could not be attributed to any group.
Outgoing President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly clashed with NATO over civilian casualties.
Afghan security forces are increasingly finding themselves under attack as the planned foreign troop withdrawal draws near. Today, a police car struck a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Nouristan; killing three officers according to provincial police Chief Abdul Baqi Nouristani. Two other roadside bombs in northern Sari Pul province killed three people, including a district police chief and his driver, deputy provincial police chief Sakhi Dad Haidary said.
Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report