US General shot dead in attack on Nato base
Published 06/08/2014 | 00:00
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A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire yesterday on Nato troops at a military base, killing a US two-star general and wounding some 15 people, among them a German brigadier general and a number of Americans troops, authorities said.
The attack at Camp Qargha, a base west of the capital Kabul, killed who is believed to be the highest-ranking US officer to die in the nearly 13-year war and comes as foreign troops prepare to withdraw by the year’s end.
While details remained murky about what sparked the attack, it showed the challenges still remaining in Afghanistan, a nation that’s known three decades of war without end.
General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s defence ministry, said a “terrorist in an army uniform” opened fire on both local and international troops. Gen Azimi said the shooter had been killed and that three Afghan army officers were wounded. He did not offer a motive for the assault.
US officials identified the dead US officer as a major general. One US official said about half of the wounded were Americans.
Germany’s military said 15 Nato soldiers were wounded in an assault launched “probably by internal attackers”.
The wounded included a German brigadier general, who the German military said was receiving medical treatment and was “not in a life-threatening condition”.
Nato said it was investigating the attack, which Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned as “cowardly”.
It is “an act by the enemies who don’t want to see Afghanistan have strong institutions”, Mr Karzai said.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid praised the “Afghan soldier” who carried out the attack, as well as a police officer in Paktia province who shot at Nato forces earlier yesterday. He did not claim the attacks.
The Qargha shooting comes as so-called “insider attacks” – incidents in which Afghan security turn on their Nato partners – largely dropped last year. In 2013, there were 16 deaths in 10 separate attacks. In 2012, such attacks killed 53 coalition troops in 38 separate attacks. Such “insider attacks” are sometimes claimed by the Taliban insurgency as proof of their infiltration.