Shooting In Kabul, Afghanistan Kills U.S. General, Leaves 15 Others Wounded
During an attack at Camp Qargha in Kabul on Tuesday, an United States military officer was killed and more than a dozen other NATO soldiers wounded. While the identity of the officer has not been released, U.S. officials confirmed that the deceased is a two-star U.S. major general, the highest-ranking officer of the U.S. military killed in the 13-year-old Afghanistan war. U.S. officials say that half of the 15 people injured are American, and the attack was carried out by a man wearing an Afghan forces uniform.
Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, an Afghanistan Defense Military spokesman, told press that local and international troops were fired upon by a "terrorist in an army uniform." Azimi says the attacker was killed, and a motive for the attack is not known at this time.
The Pentagon confirmed that the 15 people injured in the attack were part of the International Security Assistance Force. This is reportedly one of many "green-on-blue" attacks that have occurred in Afghanistan — where coalition and American soldiers have been attacked by Afghan soldiers. The major general killed was described as a "foreign officer" by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He told press that "the soldiers were visiting the military academy to help with the buildup of Afghan security forces," and this attack was carried out by "enemies who don't want to see Afghanistan have strong institutions."
In an official statement, the American-led coalition confirmed that one individual was killed during "an incident" at the military training academy in Kabul, but wouldn't release more information, according to The New York Times. At this time, coalition officials say they are trying to reach the family of the service member who was killed.
Attacks by Afghan soldiers against coalition and U.S. soldiers have only escalated since 2007. In 2012, Marine Gen. John Allen said attacks on coalition and U.S. troops were the top threat he was facing. That's when new precautions and security methods were put into place, such as "guardian angels," where troops would team up in groups or pairs to keep an extra eye out for potential threats.
As U.S. troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan in the last couple years, the attacks have decreased in frequency, but still happen occasionally.
Despite the fact that Taliban leaders have claimed responsibility for attacks on coalition and U.S. troops in the past, they have not commented on this latest attack. According to The New York Times, commanders of the Afghan and U.S. troops have said the attacks in recent years were not performed by members of the Taliban. Instead, they say the attacks were executed by soldiers angry that foreign troops are still set up in Afghanistan, or by soldiers who simply feel disconnected.