Posted on | March 11, 2013 | 6 Comments
Two U.S. service members were killed and at least eight others were injured Monday in a possible insider attack at a special forces site in Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials said.
The shooting occurred at a U.S. special operations outpost in Wardak province in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. The shooter, who was dressed in an Afghan military or police uniform, was shot and killed.
“We have two confirmed dead, but the toll could rise,” one U.S. official said.
A senior official in the Afghan Defense Ministry said that at least three Afghans were also killed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. . . .
The shooting occurred during a group meeting or briefing, a spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said.
The so-called “green on blue” attack came in the wake of Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s harsh criticism of U.S. policy, and after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to Afghanistan.
An Afghan policeman killed two US soldiers in an attack at a US Special Forces base in Wardak province today. The attack is the second green-on-blue, or insider attack, that has been reported in the past four days.
The International Security Assistance Force confirmed that two US soldiers from the US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), the command which many US special operations forces fall under, were killed by Afghan personnel.
“Two US Forces-Afghanistan service members died in eastern Afghanistan today when an individual wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform turned a weapon on U.S. and Afghan forces,” the ISAF statement said.
ISAF told The Long War Journal that the attack took place in the Jalrayz district in Wardak, and that two US soldiers were killed and several more were wounded.
The policeman opened fire on US soldiers with a machine gun that was mounted to the back of a pickup, killing two US soldiers and wounding eight more, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. US soldiers returned fire, killing three Afghan Local Policemen, including the policeman who initiated the attack.
The Department of Defense describes a private conversation between Hagel and Karzai, in which Hagel made similar assurances.
“We did discuss those comments,” the secretary said, responding to a reporter’s question about his meeting with Karzai. “I told the president it was not true that the United States was unilaterally working with the Taliban in trying to negotiate anything.”
Any negotiation with the Taliban to build peace and political consensus in Afghanistan must come from the Afghan government, Hagel said.
This morning, early reports of another source of tension between the two countries: U.S. troops opened fire on two Afghan civilians as they approached a military convoy. Both men, later identified by the AP as employees of a company that repairs police vehicles, were killed.
The official Defense statement quoted above summarizes the secretary’s trip: “Hagel’s first visit to Afghanistan as secretary has been eventful.” Indeed.