U.S. General Assassinated by terrorist in Afghan Military attire
A fellow Afghan dressed in an Army uniform fired at a military base, killing a U.S. General and wounding 15 people including a German general and a number of American troops. U.S. officials identified the murdered American late Tuesday as Maj. Gen. Harold Greene. Greene was the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat since 1970 in the Vietnam War.
Greene was stationed in Afghanistan for the purpose of preparing Afghan forces for the time when U.S. led troops leave at the end of the year. Pentagon spokesperson, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said earlier that the assailant fired into a group of international soldiers at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University at Camp Qargha, a base west of Kabul, and was subsequently killed.
ABC News spoke with a US official who estimated that around half of the wounded NATO troops were Americans. Fox News cited another comment by a US official, reported on by the Associated Press, that put the number of Americans wounded at around a dozen. Additionally, Afghan and German troops, including a German Brigadier General, were among those injured. The number of fatalities could rise, as many of the wounded were hit at very close range. NATO is investigating the attack, Afghan President Karzai publicly condemned the attacks as “cowardly.” It is “an act by the enemies who don’t want to see Afghanistan have strong institutions,” Karzai said in a statement.
These “insider attacks” are often claimed by the Taliban to show their ability of infiltrating the forces. Foreign aid workers, contractors, journalists and other civilians in Afghanistan are increasingly becoming targets of violence as the U.S.-led military coalition continues a withdrawal to be complete by the end of the year.
The attack follows a controversial Monday night battle when a NATO helicopter launched a counterattack in an area from which a missile was reportedly fired, allegedly killing four civilians. 200 Afghans gathered today in Herat, carrying bodies of the fallen, to protest civilian casualties, which have risen in Afghanistan by 17% this year according to a July report by the United Nations. Around the same time that the attack was taking place at Camp Qargha, an Afghan police guard attacked NATO troops and was killed near the governor’s office in eastern Pakia province. It is not yet known whether the two attacks were connected in any way.
Afghan security forces also increasingly find themselves under attack as the planned foreign troop withdrawal draws near. On Tuesday, a police car struck a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Nouristan, killing three officers, provincial police chief Abdul Baqi Nouristani said. Two other roadside bombs in northern Sari Pul province killed three people, including a district police chief and his driver, deputy provincial police chief Sakhi Dad Haidary said.
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