3 Americans killed by Afghan soldier
KABUL — An Afghan soldier opened fire on U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday after arguing with one of the Americans, killing two service members and a civilian, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
The confrontation marked the deadliest insider attack in the country this year and added to the death toll from an intense fighting season, which U.S. and Afghan officials are watching closely for indicators of the Taliban's resilience as American troops accelerate their withdrawal. In a separate incident Saturday, an Italian captain was killed in a grenade attack in western Afghanistan.
The insider attack occurred shortly after noon in Paktika province, which borders Pakistan, after an Afghan soldier got into a verbal dispute with an American service member, according to an account by the provincial governor's office. The Americans returned fire, killing the Afghan gunman, provincial officials said. Afghan and American officials are investigating the incident, but provincial authorities said they had found no evidence that the Afghan soldier had links to the insurgency.
The U.S. military said an Afghan was detained after the shooting, but provided no details about the circumstances.
Insider attacks became a paramount concern for the U.S.-led coalition here last year, when Afghan troops killed 64 foreign military personnel and civilians in 48 incidents. Far fewer have occurred this year. Before Saturday's attack, five coalition members had been killed in so-called “green on blue” attacks.
U.S. military officials went to great lengths to study insider attacks last year after their prevalence began to poison the military partnership at the heart of the U.S. strategy for winding down the Afghan war. Investigators found that relatively few such attacks could be traced to the insurgency, with a high percentage stemming from fights over cultural differences.
Earlier Saturday, an Italian military training team was returning to its base in Farah province when it came under attack. One soldier was killed and three wounded in the blast, according to the Italian Defense Ministry.
The Taliban did not assert responsibility for that attack but hailed it in a statement. According to local reports, its statement, which could not be corroborated, said an 11-year-old child had lobbed a grenade at the Italians.
“This incident clearly shows the utter hatred of Afghans toward the foreign invaders who have occupied our land in the past decade,” the statement said.
Saturday's military casualties came two days after seven Georgian troops were killed in a truck bombing in southern Afghanistan.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
- As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
- Sweden calls off search for mystery submarine
- Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
- China to test lunar orbiter
- Deadly crash into train station prompts crackdown in Jerusalem
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
- Russia, Ukraine leaders signal progress in talks on peace, gas
- Loophole rewards expelled Nazi suspects with Social Security benefits
- Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria