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8 soldiers shot dead at Kabul airport

Kabul, April 27, Reuters:

Eight troops from the NATO-led force in Afghanistan were killed in a shooting, involving an Afghan Air Force pilot at Kabul’s airport on Wednesday.

A contractor, whose identity was not known, was also killed in the shooting, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The shooting follows a string of attacks by Afghan forces against their NATO-led mentors carried out either by “rogue” soldiers or by insurgents in uniform who have managed to infiltrate their ranks. Such incidents highlight the challenge for the US and NATO forces as they try to prepare for a gradual handover of security responsibilities that is scheduled to begin in July and end with the withdrawal of all foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force released a brief statement saying eight troops and the contractor had been killed in the airport shooting. It gave no further details about the incident or about the nationality of those killed. The death toll had earlier been put at six. The Afghan Defence Ministry issued a statement shortly after the incident saying several people had been killed and wounded after a shooting involving one of its Air Force pilots.  The Taliban, however, released a statement saying one of its fighters, named Azizullah, was dressed in military uniform and carried out the attack after gaining access to the compound.

“(He) shot his weapon at many foreign and Afghan forces who were in a hangar, killing nine foreign troops and five Afghan soldiers,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed.

The Taliban often claim responsibility for attacks carried out by others and exaggerate casualty numbers, although their fighters have managed to gain access to foreign and Afghan bases to launch raids in the past.  On April 18, an insurgent dressed in Afghan army uniform opened fire inside the Afghan Defence Ministry in central Kabul, leaving two dead. Rapid recruitment into the Afghan security forces has raised fears the Taliban have infiltrated sympathisers into the Afghan police and army.

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 22, 2017 at 1:17 AM
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