Afghan soldier wounds 5 U.S. soldiers in base attack


McClatchy Newspapers

An Afghan soldier shot and wounded five U.S. soldiers late Tuesday at a base in eastern Afghanistan in what is the latest in a series of “green on blue” attacks by local forces on their coalition counterparts.

Tuesday’s attack comes after three British troops were shot dead Sunday in southern Helmand province by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform. Afghan security forces will be responsible for defending their country when coalition troops withdraw by the end of 2014, and the incidents raise questions about their reliability.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, as the coalition is formally known, said Tuesday’s attack occurred in the evening at a joint Afghan army-coalition base in the Sayed Abad district of Wardak province.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Dan Einert, an ISAF spokesman, told McClatchy the five soldiers were all taken to a coalition medical facility for treatment. “They’re all stable at this time,” Einert said.

The Afghan soldier who shot them had escaped, said Einert. He added that there was no indication of what precipitated the shooting.

ISAF refused to confirm the nationality of the wounded soldiers. However, Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for Wardak’s governor, confirmed that they were Americans. “A man wearing an Afghan army uniform went into an ISAF base in the Hashim Khel area of Sayed Abad and opened fire on the American troops…before running away,” Shahid said.

A senior Afghan security official told McClatchy that the attacker was an Afghan soldier from northern Kunduz province. “It was seven in the evening when he entered the base – a time when (the American troops) were doing sport or relaxing,” the official said. He declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the case with media.

The Taliban in a Web site statement listed the attacker as Mohammad Wali, claiming he was an “Afghan self-motivated soldier (who) shot dead seven invaders with his PK,” a Russian-made heavy machine gun.

“The soldier has been with the puppet army based at the invader’s base for a long time,” the statement said, referring respectively to the Afghan army and coalition troops. “He is now safely out of the area and has joined the local mujahideen,” or Islamic holy warriors, as the Taliban refer to themselves.

Twenty-six coalition soldiers have been killed in 19 “green on blue” attacks this year. Last year, 35 were killed in 21 incidents, according to coalition figures. ISAF claims most attacks are carried out not by Taliban infiltrators but by Afghans who are frustrated with the behavior of their Western counterparts.

Meanwhile, ISAF said that a coalition soldier died in southern Afghanistan Wednesday as the result of a non-battle-related injury. ISAF refused to confirm the nationality of the service member or any other details about the incident.

Also Wednesday, a woman was killed and two men and a child seriously injured when an improvised explosive device destroyed their vehicle in the Marjah district of Helmand province, a statement from the Helmand governor’s office said. Security forces rushed the survivors to hospital in Lashkar Gah after the explosion, which occurred around 6 a.m.

Blowing up innocent people demonstrated yet again that the attackers were “the enemies of Islam, civilians, and the country, and are not able to fight face-to-face with our security forces,” the statement said.

Stephenson is a McClatchy special correspondent. Special correspondent Ali Safi contributed from Kabul.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2004 file photo,  Pope John Paul II gives his blessing to late father Marcial Maciel, founder of Christ's Legionaries, during a special audience the pontiff granted to about four thousand participants of the Regnum Christi movement, at the Vatican. Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium. But the sexual abuse scandal that festered under his watch remains a stain on his legacy. John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests.

    John Paul's legacy stained by sex abuse scandal

    Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium.

South Korean rescue team members on a boat sail to rescue missing passengers believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol near the buoys which were installed to mark the vessel in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 20, 2014. After more than three days of frustration and failure, divers on Sunday finally found a way into the submerged ferry off South Korea's southern shore, discovering more than a dozen bodies inside the ship and pushing the confirmed death toll to over four dozen, officials said.

    SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed "unforgivable, murderous acts" in the disaster, which left more than 300 people dead or missing.

  • Group concerned for activist missing in Thailand

    An international human rights group is calling on Thai authorities to investigate the disappearance of a prominent environmental activist.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category