NATO sol­dier dies in fire­fight be­tween US and Afghan forces

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A NATO sol­dier was killed Wed­nes­day in a fire­fight be­tween U.S. and Afghan troops in eastern Afghanistan, the first ap­par­ent in­sider attack since the U.S. an­nounced a de­lay in troop with­drawals from the coun­try.

The gun­fight erupted af­ter an Afghan sol­dier opened fire on an Amer­i­can del­e­ga­tion out­side the gover­nor’s com­pound in Jalal­abad, the cap­i­tal of the mil­i­tantin­fested prov­ince of Nan­garhar.

“U.S. sol­diers re­turned fire, killing the shooter and wound­ing two other mem­bers of the Afghan Na­tional Army. We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing to find out the mo­tive be­hind the shoot­ing,” Nan­garhar po­lice chief Fazel Ah­mad Shirzad told AFP. A NATO sol­dier was also killed. The “in­ci­dent in Jalal­abad to­day re­sulted in the death of one Res­o­lute Sup­port ser­vice mem­ber”, said a brief state­ment from Res­o­lute Sup­port, the new name for the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Fol­low­ing its usual pol­icy, the mission did not give the na­tion­al­ity of the vic­tim.

Mon­ica Cum­mings,

the

U. S. em­bassy spokes­woman, said the in­ci­dent oc­curred af­ter a se­nior U.S. of­fi­cial held a meet­ing with the pro­vin­cial gover­nor in Jalal­abad.

So-called “green-on-blue” at­tacks — when Afghan sol­diers or po­lice turn their guns on in­ter­na­tional troops — were a ma­jor prob­lem dur­ing NATO’s long years fight­ing along­side Afghan forces.

But the rate of such in­ci­dents, re­flect­ing long- sim­mer­ing ten­sions be­tween Afghan and for­eign forces, has dropped sharply in re­cent years.

Most NATO com­bat troops pulled out of Afghanistan last year but a small con­tin­gent re­mains, in­clud­ing roughly 10,000 Amer­i­can sol­diers.

The U.S. sol­diers, along with other NATO troops and pri­vate con­trac­tors, are fo­cus­ing on train­ing Afghanistan’s na­tional se­cu­rity forces.

One of the worst in­sider at­tacks took place last Au­gust when U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was killed — the most se­nior Amer­i­can mil­i­tary of­fi­cer to die in ac­tion over­seas since the Viet­nam War.

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