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

  • Venezuela official seeks immunity in Aruba ruling

    A judge in Aruba is expected to rule today whether the highest-ranking Venezuelan official ever arrested on a U.S. warrant will remain in jail pending an extradition request.

  •  
In this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo, Marwan Hassanein, 4, rests at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Marwan was injured in head and eyes by shrapnel while fleeing with his family on July 20 during Israeli shelling in the Shijaiyah neighborhood. The Israeli military says it is doing its utmost to spare civilians, including by sending evacuation warnings to homes and neighborhoods that are about to be targeted in Israel's air- and ground operation. However, Gaza is densely populated, with 1.7 million people squeezed into a small strip of land on the Mediterranean, leaving little room for escape.

    In Gaza, pediatrics wing crowded with war wounded

    The pediatrics wing of the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip is filled with the youngest victims of more than two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.

  •  
FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, July  2, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and CEO of state-controlled Russian oil company Rosneft Igor Sechin speak during a signing ceremony of cooperation agreements with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy.

    Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

    Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the downing of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

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