Six ISAF troops killed in Afghan pilot shooting near Kabul airport
- From: NewsCore
- April 27, 2011 10:51PM
Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers keep watch at the gate of the Afghan air force compound in Kabul on April 27, 2011. Picture: Shah Marai AFP
Six International Security Assistance Force troops were killed when an Afghan air force officer opened fire after a dispute near Kabul’s airport.
“Six International Security Assistance Force service members died following a shooting incident here today [Wednesday]. It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” ISAF said in a statement.
Afghan defence ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi said an exchange of fire broke out after the air force officer was engaged in a dispute with ISAF troops.
“At around 11:00am [local time] within the air force compound, an argument took place between an [Afghan] air force officer and foreign colleagues,” he said in a statement. “An exchange of fire followed. A number have been killed and injured. Details will come later.”
The shooting occurred at a NATO training center for the national air force, which is part of the Kabul airport complex.
A spokesman for ISAF, Major Tim James, confirmed there were casualties among international troops and that shots were fired at the Afghan Air Force compound.
“We can confirm there was small arms fire during this incident. We’re also aware that there are some ISAF casualties,” he told AFP.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident in a text message to AFP, although the militants are known to routinely exaggerate their claims.
“A suicide fighter who had a job there carried out an armed attack resulting in massive Afghan and foreign casualties,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said.
The shooting underscores the challenges faced by the US-led mission in Afghanistan as it aims to build the national army and police to take responsibility for security by 2014.
US troops stationed in Afghanistan have been targeted in a string of attacks by members of the Afghan security forces, or people purporting to be members.
There are around 130,000 international troops serving in Afghanistan, the bulk of them from the United States, although Afghan forces are in control of security in Kabul.
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