Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Paul Kagame visits UNESCO HQ in Paris

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Flamboyant US Congressman's Instagram Lands Him in Bother

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Compromise buys Greece time and Jihadi John is unmasked (part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Drone vs. drone

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The future of agriculture

Read more

REVISITED

Yalta, the symbol of a new Cold War?

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in the workforce: IMF says closing the gender gap makes economic sense

Read more

ENCORE!

Taryn Simon, the hottest property in art photography

Read more

Asia-pacific

US general killed in insider attack in Afghanistan

© AFP

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-08-06

A U.S. general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, U.S., German and Afghan officials said on Tuesday.

The slain general, whose identity was not immediately released by the Pentagon, was believed to be the most senior U.S. military official killed in action in Afghanistan since the war there began in 2001.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that "many were seriously wounded" and the gunman was killed in the attack, which took place on Tuesday at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training center in Kabul.

The attack raised fresh questions about the ability of NATO soldiers to train and advise Afghan security forces as western nations gradually withdraw. The U.S. and German generals were on a routine visit, the Pentagon said.

A U.S. official said the gunman fired on the foreign soldiers using a light machinegun. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry described him as a "terrorist in army uniform."

The German military said its general was one of 14 coalition troops wounded in Tuesday's attack. It said his life was not in danger. Seven Americans and five British troops were among the wounded, an Afghan official said.

Past insider attacks have eroded trust while straining foreign efforts to train Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security force and prepare them to fight the Taliban once most U.S. and NATO forces depart.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with General Joe Dunford, who commands U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan, about the incident, Kirby said.

He said the shooting was being investigated jointly by Afghan authorities and the international military coalition that is winding down its long mission in Afghanistan.

The Afghan president was quick to condemn the attack, saying the delegation had been visiting the facility to help build Afghanistan's security forces.

The Taliban says insider attacks reflect their ability to infiltrate the enemy. International military coalition officials say the incidents often arise over misunderstandings or altercations between troops.

In 2012, dozens of incidents forced international troops to take measures to reduce interaction with their Afghan partners. Since then, the number of insider attacks has fallen sharply.

Like other western nations, the United States is planning to leave a residual force in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends this year, in part to support Afghan forces.

But U.S. officials say that first they must sign a bilateral troop deal, which cannot be finalized until Afghanistan resolves an election dispute and confirms its new president.

In a similar attack on Tuesday, several people were wounded in eastern Paktia province when a policeman opened fire on international and Afghan forces, police chief Zalmay Oryakhil said.

Adding to the tension, a NATO air strike hit a vehicle carrying civilians in western Herat province, local officials said, killing four members of a family returning from a wedding, including two children.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-08-05

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Afghan Taliban conduct brazen attack on Kabul airport

    Read more

COMMENT(S)