U.S. Army General Killed, 15 Others Wounded, In Insider Attack In Afghanistan
An American Army General has apparently been killed in an insider attack by someone dressed in an Afghan military uniform who opened fire at a base in Kabul:
KABUL, Afghanistan — A United States Army major general was killed on Tuesday by an Afghan soldier, shot at close range at a military training academy on the outskirts of Kabul, officials of the American-led coalition said Tuesday. The officer was the highest-ranking member of the American military to die in hostilities in the Afghanistan war.
The coalition officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity and would not release the name of the major general, said an unspecified number of other service members of the American-led coalition and Afghan soldiers, including a senior Afghan commander, also were shot. Their conditions were not immediately known.
Other details of the shooting were sketchy, and the coalition, in an official statement, would only confirm that one of its service members had been killed in what it described as “an incident” at the Marshall Fahim National Defense University in Kabul. The coalition declined to specify any further details, saying it was still working to notify the family of the deceased.
Tensions at the military academy ran high in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which took place around noon, and foreign troops appeared to be on edge, fearful of another attack.
Massoud Hossaini, a photographer for The Associated Press, said that he arrived at the camp’s gate ahead of other journalists, and just as coalition armored vehicles were pulling out of the compound. A coalition soldier manning the roof-mounted gun on one of the vehicles shouted for Mr. Hossaini to “get away,” and then fired an apparent warning shot.
“I don’t know what he fired. It was fired near our car,” he said, adding that he left the scene straight away.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said in a statement that a “few people were wounded” in the shooting, and that they had been immediately evacuated to a hospital. It described the attacker as “wearing Afghan National Army uniform,” which has long been a standard description offered after Afghan troops attack their foreign counterparts.
Other Afghan and coalition officials said they believed the shooter was an Afghan soldier. The coalition, in its brief statement, said the incident had involved “local Afghan and ISAF troops,” using the initials for the International Security Assistance Force, the formal name of the NATO-led coalition.
Other reports put the number of wounded as high as 15.
This would be the first death of an American General in a foreign combat situation since the Vietnam War, although I suppose it is fair to point out that this seems to qualify more like an assassination even though there is no evidence as of yet that the General in question was directly targeted. If nothing else, though, this serves as a reminder that, although the war in Afghanistan is winding down from an American point of view, our soldiers there remain in danger even from the people purported to be our allies. That will continue to be true, I think, until the last American solider leaves.