Afghan soldier wounds 7 GIs
Insider attack on U.S. forces is second in a week
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.