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US troops shot dead by Afghan police officer

US troops shot dead by Afghan police officer

Aug 10, 2012 - 12:55

LASHKARGAH (PAN): Three American soldiers were killed in an attack by an individual wearing an Afghan security uniform in southern Afghanistan on Friday, the US military said.

In line with its policy, the military deferred casualty identification procedures to the Department of Defense and gave no further details of the incident.

A local security official, meanwhile, confided to Pajhwok Afghan News the latest green-on-blue attack happened in the Sangin district of Helmand. The victims were members of the US Special Forces, he said.

A local police officer and his subordinates gunned down the American service members whom they had invited to a meeting on the security situation in Sarwan Qala neighbourhood, the source revealed.

Mohammad Sharif Khan, the district’s administrative head, said police were probing the incident, whose motive was yet to be ascertained.

One provincial official said that Asadullah, a commander of the NATO-funded local police force, planned and executed the shooting. 

Shamsullah Sehrai, the commander’s father and noted tribal elder, said he had rumours of his son’s involvement in the attack. But he added his son, who joined the police force seven years ago, could not take such a step.

US military spokeswoman Maj. Lori Hodge confirmed the shooting, the third attack on coalition troops by their Afghan partners in a week. Without going into details, she said the incident was being investigated.

The Taliban moved swiftly to assert responsibility for the assault. The group’s spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said that the assailant joined the rebels after the killings.

Also on Friday, an International Security Assistance Force soldier was killed during an insurgent attack in the restive south, the alliance said.

A day earlier, an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier, who opened fire on international troops, was killed in eastern Laghman province. The foreign troops returned fire, killing the attacker. There were no ISAF fatalities.

Since the beginning of the current year, 28 people have been killed in 24 such attacks on foreign soldiers, compared to 21 insider assaults that killed 35 in 2011.