Connect with us

World

U.S. general shot dead in Afghan insider attack

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

U.S. general shot dead in Afghan insider attack
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A U.S. general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded on Tuesday, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, U.S., German and Afghan officials said.

The U.S. Army said late on Tuesday the slain general was Major General Harold Greene, a senior officer with the international military command ISAF. He was the most senior U.S. military official killed in action overseas since the war in Vietnam, military officials said.

“These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission,” U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno said in a statement, referring to the soldiers killed and wounded in the attack.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters that “many were seriously wounded,” and the gunman was killed in the attack, which took place on Tuesday 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 U.S. and German generals were on a routine visit, the Pentagon said.

A U.S. official said the gunman fired on the foreign soldiers using a light machine gun. 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 Tuesday’s attack, adding that 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 U.S. and NATO forces depart.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with General Joe Dunford, who commands U.S. 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 the country’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.

U.S. military officials said it was too soon to say whether the high-ranking officers had been specifically targeted by the shooter.

“We remain committed to our mission in Afghanistan and will continue to work with our Afghan partners to ensure the safety and security of all coalition soldiers and civilians,” Odierno said.

‘PERNICIOUS THREAT’

In 2012, dozens of incidents forced international troops to take measures to reduce interaction with their Afghan partners. Since then, the number of insider attacks has fallen sharply.

According to a Pentagon report on the war in April, there were 15 insider attacks against foreign troops in 2013, down from 48 in 2012.

“Despite this sharp decline, these attacks may still have strategic effects on the campaign and could jeopardize the relationship between coalition and ANSF personnel,” the report stated. “Insurgents remain intent on utilizing insider attacks as an integral component of their asymmetric strategy.”

The report concluded that armed guards known as ‘guardian angels’ accompanying coalition officials had reduced casualties by counter-attacking those who tried to kill foreigners.

Meanwhile, insider attacks against Afghan forces were on the rise, the report said.

Like other Western countries, the United States is planning to leave a residual force in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends this year, mainly focused on supporting Afghan forces. But U.S. officials say that first they must sign a bilateral troop deal, which cannot be finalized until Afghanistan resolves an election dispute and swears in a new president.

The departure will leave Afghanistan’s forces – built from scratch since 2001 and still struggling with problems of incomplete training, illiteracy and desertion – in charge of the bulk of the fight with the Taliban.

Pentagon spokesman Kirby said that despite protective measures it would be impossible to eliminate the threat of such attacks entirely.

“The insider threat is … a pernicious threat. And it’s difficult to always ascertain,” Kirby said. “Afghanistan is still a war zone.”

Ed Royce, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, said the progress in protecting foreign troops serving in Afghanistan had been inadequate.

“Many brave U.S forces are working hard to help stand up the Afghan forces so they can continue to take the lead in Afghanistan,” he said. “They don’t deserve to be victims of such cowardly terrorist attacks.”

In a similar attack on Tuesday, several people were wounded in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktia when a policeman opened fire on international and Afghan forces, police chief Zalmay Oryakhil said.

Adding to the tension, a NATO air strike hit a vehicle carrying civilians in western Herat province, local officials said, killing four members of a family returning from a wedding, including two children.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)37 mins ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)37 mins ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)37 mins ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand1 hour ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket2 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism2 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand3 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket4 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World5 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests6 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Crime6 hours ago

Police arrest suspect who allegedly killed Covid patient and 7-Eleven clerk

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending