Afghan sol­dier wounds 7 GIs

In­sider at­tack on U.S. forces is sec­ond in a week

The Dallas Morning News - - WORLD - Rod Nord­land, The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan com­mando shot and wounded seven U.S. sol­diers on the sec­ond such in­sider at­tack in a week, Afghan of­fi­cials said.

The at­tack took place in the Afghan Na­tional Army 209th Corps head­quar­ters at Camp Sha­heen, in the north­ern city of Mazar-e-Sharif. Col. Ab­dul Qa­har Aram, spokesman for the 209th Corps, said an Afghan sol­dier opened fire, wound­ing sev­eral for­eign sol­diers in the gar­ri­son area of the camp. He said re­ports claim­ing the sol­diers had been killed were false.

The U.S. mil­i­tary would con­firm only that U.S. sol­diers were wounded in an in­sider at­tack and that an Afghan sol­dier had been killed and an­other wounded. The U.S. mil­i­tary also de­nied that any of its sol­diers had been killed.

An­other corps spokesman, Maj. Nas­rat­ul­lah Jamshidi, said the at­tacker, an Afghan com­mando, had been shot at the scene and died on his way to a hospi­tal.

So-called green-on-blue, or in­sider, at­tacks have been a re­cur­ring prob­lem for the U.S.-led coali­tion, most re­cently on June 10 in the Achin district of eastern Nan­garhar prov­ince, where U.S. ground forces are help­ing Afghan spe­cial forces fight Is­lamic State ex­trem­ists.

A com­mando par­tic­i­pat­ing in the joint op­er­a­tions opened fire on four of the Amer­i­cans, killing three and wound­ing an­other. The Tal­iban claimed that the com­mando had been an in­fil­tra­tor, but Afghan of­fi­cials said the at­tack ap­peared to have been the out­come of a per­sonal dis­pute.

Spe­cial forces sol­diers in the Afghan army, gen­er­ally re­ferred to as com­man­dos, are much more highly trained than reg­u­lar troops and work in prox­im­ity to U.S. sol­diers.

So far this year, six U.S. sol­diers have been killed in com­bat in Afghanistan, all of them in­volved in the fight against the Is­lamic State in Nan­garhar prov­ince. Five of the six ap­par­ently were killed by their own side: the three on June 10 and two oth­ers in April were killed ac­ci­den­tally in an airstrike in the same area.

In two episodes in March, a to­tal of 11 U.S. sol­diers were wounded by Afghan sol­diers in green-on-blue at­tacks in Hel­mand prov­ince, south­ern Afghanistan, ac­cord­ing to Afghan of­fi­cials.

None­the­less, the in­ci­dence of such at­tacks has de­creased greatly as U.S. and other for­eign forces have de­clined from a peak of 150,000 sol­diers to about 14,000 now. In 2012, one-fourth of all coali­tion killings were car­ried out by Afghan in­sid­ers, ac­cord­ing to U.S. mil­i­tary of­fi­cials.

The 209th Corps has been par­tic­u­larly trou­bled this year, and in April was the scene of the Afghan mil­i­tary’s big­gest sin­gle loss of life in the past 16 years, when Tal­iban in­fil­tra­tors en­tered Camp Sha­heen and killed more than 160 sol­diers, many of them un­armed.

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