U.S. service member killed in insider attack in Kabul
KABUL — A U.S. service member was killed and another wounded when an Afghan commando opened fire on them on Saturday in Kabul, Afghan and U.S. officials said.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor was killed in the attack while serving with the state’s National Guard.
It was the second such attack in less than two weeks. On Oct. 22, an Afghan commando opened fire on members of the U.S.-led NATO coalition in the western province of Herat, killing one and wounding two.
“Initial reports indicate the attacker was a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces,” said Debra Richardson, a NATO spokeswoman in Kabul, the capital. “The attacker was immediately killed by other Afghan forces.”
Richardson said a second U.S. service member, who was not identified, was wounded in the attack and was in stable condition.
Insider attacks have long been a problem for forces in Afghanistan. At their peak in 2012, 61 coalition soldiers were killed by such attacks.
The latest attack came as the U.S. military has retreated to a more cautious position after a widespread rumor about the killing of the powerful police chief of Kandahar province, which has created mistrust with Afghan allies.
On Oct. 18, the chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, was shot dead by a teenage Taliban infiltrator as he was walking out of a meeting with the top American and NATO commander, Gen. Austin Miller. Standing steps away, Miller survived a second round fired in the direction of the other dignitaries.
As detailed in a New York Times report, a guard at the scene, who U.S. officials said they believed could have been a second infiltrator, shouted that the Americans had shot the Afghan general.
It led to immediate tensions with Afghan forces that continue to cast a cloud over the relationship. Afghan and American forces clashed as the U.S. convoy was leaving the compound, with U.S. forces shooting one Afghan guard dead.
The U.S. military has struggled to contain the disinformation, and senior Afghan officials have tried to quash the rumor. The concern peaked after an Afghan commando opened fire on coalition forces on Oct. 22 in the west of the country after what Afghan officials had said was a verbal clash over the killing of Raziq.