Afghan officer fires on NATO troops
An Afghan military officer opened fire on foreign troops on Wednesday after an argument at the airport in the capital the latest in a spate of deadly incidents that have occurred inside government or military installations, the defense ministry said.world Updated: Apr 27, 2011 14:40 IST
An Afghan military officer opened fire on foreign troops on Wednesday after an argument at the airport in the capital the latest in a spate of deadly incidents that have occurred inside government or military installations, the defense ministry said.
NATO confirmed that foreign troops were among the casualties, but could not say how many.
The ministry only said a number of people were killed and wounded in the 11am incident at the airport in Kabul, but gave no specifics.
Defense ministry spokesman Gen Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the gunman, an Afghan military pilot, was killed in the shooting, which occurred inside a facility used by the Afghan Air Force.
"An Afghan officer opened fire on foreigners after an argument," Azimi said. "For the past 20 years, he has been a military pilot. An argument happened between him and the foreigners and we have to investigate that."
An Afghan pilot who spoke on condition of anonymity, asid the gunman was Ahmad Gul, a 50-year-old pilot from Tarakhail district of Kabul province.
The Taliban, in a text message to The Associated Press, claimed responsibility. But authorities have not confirmed any connection to insurgents. In a statement, the Taliban said the gunman, who was impersonating an army officer, killed nine foreigners and five Afghans soldiers. Others at the facility helped the gunman gain access, the Taliban said.
Since March 2009, the coalition has recorded 20 incidents where a member of the Afghan security forces or someone wearing a uniform used by them attacked coalition forces, killing a total of 36.
It is not known how many of the 282,000 members of the Afghan security forces were killed.
According to information compiled by NATO, half of the 20 incidents involved the impersonation of an Afghan policeman or soldier. The cause of the other 10 incidents were attributed to combat stress or unknown reasons. The officers insisted that so far, there is no solid information that an insurgent was directed to join the army for the purpose of conducting attacks.
NATO officials said that in recent incidents:
An Afghan man wearing a border police uniform who shot and killed two American military personnel April 4 in northwest Faryab province was upset over the burning of the Quran at a Florida church.
An Afghan soldier who shot and killed three German soldiers and wounded six others Feb. 18 in northern Baghlan province felt he had been personally offended by his German partners.
An Afghan border policeman who gunned down six American soldiers Nov 29, 2010 in eastern Nangarhar province was suffering from personal stress because his father was forcing him into an arranged marriage.