A police officer opened fire on U.S. and Afghan forces inside a police headquarters in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, sparking a firefight that killed two U.S. troops and two other Afghan policemen. The attacker was also killed in the shootout, officials said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi says the victims in Monday’s incident were employees of a company that repairs police vehicles.
U.S. forces’ spokesman Jamie Graybeal says the vehicle failed to heed instructions to stop as it came close to the convoy outside of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the soldiers took “appropriate measures to protect themselves.”
He confirms that two individuals were killed and says an assessment is under way.
A NATO spokesman said the two soldiers serving with the U.S. led forces in Afghanistan was the latest insider attack on the international military force in the country that threatened to undermine their alliance at a time when they need to work increasingly close side by side in order to hand over responsibility as planned for the upcoming year.
The attack also comes a day after the expiration of the Afghan president’s deadline for U.S. Special Forces to withdraw from the province following accusations of abuse by those under their command.
U.S. officials have said that they are working with Afghan counterparts on coming up with a solution that will answer President Hamid Karzai’s concerns and maintain security in Wardak. The majority of U.S. troops in Wardak are special operations forces.
In Monday’s attack, an Afghan police officer stood up in the back of a police pickup truck, grabbed hold of a machine gun and started firing at the U.S. special operations forces and Afghan police in the police compound in Jalrez district, said the province’s Deputy Police Chief Abdul Razaq Koraishi.
Karzai had ordered U.S. special operations forces to leave Wardak province, which lies just outside the capital, Kabul, because of allegations that Afghans working with the commandos were involved in abusive behavior. He gave them two weeks to leave, and the deadline expired at midnight Saturday.