December 21, 2014
US general killed, German general wounded in Afghan attack
A US general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, US, German and Afghan officials said.
The slain general was identified in US media reports as Major General Harold Greene, a senior officer with the international military command ISAF. He was the most senior US military official killed in action overseas since since the war in Vietnam, US military officials said.
The Pentagon declined to confirm Greene's identity.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that "many were seriously wounded" and the gunman was killed in the attack, which took place today at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, a training center in Kabul.
The attack raised fresh questions about the ability of NATO soldiers to train and advise Afghan security forces as western nations gradually withdraw. The US and German generals were on a routine visit, the Pentagon said.
A US official said the gunman fired on the foreign soldiers using a light machinegun. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry described him as a "terrorist in army uniform."
The German military said its general was one of 14 coalition troops wounded in today’s attack. It said his life was not in danger. Seven Americans and five British troops were among the wounded, an Afghan official said.
Past insider attacks have eroded trust while straining foreign efforts to train Afghanistan's 350,000-strong security force and prepare them to fight the Taliban once most US and NATO forces depart.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with General Joe Dunford, who commands US and international troops in Afghanistan, about the incident, Kirby said. He said the shooting was being investigated jointly by Afghan authorities and the international military coalition that is winding down its long mission in Afghanistan.
The Afghan president was quick to condemn the attack, saying the delegation had been visiting the facility to help build Afghanistan's security forces.
The Taliban says insider attacks reflect their ability to infiltrate the enemy. International military coalition officials say the incidents often arise over misunderstandings or altercations between troops.
US military officials said it was too soon to say whether the high-ranking officers had been specifically targeted by the shooter.