Afghan official: General’s killer hid in bathroom

Motives remain unknown in American’s death

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KABUL, Af­ghan­istan — The Af­ghan sol­dier who killed a U.S. two-star gen­eral and wounded 15 other peo­ple hid in a bath­room with a NATO as­sault ri­fle then opened fire when a group of of­fi­cers from in­ter­na­tional forces passed by, an Af­ghan mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said Wed­nes­day.

As U.S. and Af­ghan of­fi­cials in­ves­ti­gated the at­tack Tues­day that killed Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the high­est-ranked U.S. of­fi­cer to be slain in a war zone since 1970 in the Vi­et­nam War, au­thor­i­ties re­ported two other so-called “in­sider” at­tacks the same day. In the dead­li­est of the at­tacks, an Af­ghan po­lice of­fi­cer killed seven of his col­leagues at a check­point, then stole their weap­ons and fled in a po­lice car late Tues­day in the Uruz­gan pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal of Ti­rin Kot, pro­vin­cial spokes­man Doost Mo­ham­mad Nayab said.

In Pak­tia prov­ince, an Af­ghan po­lice guard ex­changed fire with NATO troops near the gov­er­nor’s of­fice, pro­vin­cial po­lice said. The guard was killed in the gun­fight.

In­sider at­tacks in Af­ghan­istan rose sharply in 2012, with more than 60 co­a­li­tion troops — mostly Amer­i­cans — killed in more than 40 at­tacks that threat­ened to shat­ter all trust be­tween Af­ghan and al­lied forces. U.S. com­mand­ers im­posed a se­ries of pre­cau­tion­ary tac­tics, and the num­ber of such at­tacks de­clined sharply last year.

Such at­tacks are some­times claimed by the Tal­i­ban in­sur­gency as proof of their in­fil­tra­tion. Others are at­trib­uted to per­sonal dis­putes or re­sent­ment by Af­ghans who have soured on the con­tin­ued in­ter­na­tional pres­ence in their coun­try more than a dozen years af­ter the fall of the Tal­i­ban’s ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive Islamic re­gime.

There has been no claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity in Tues­day’s shoot­ing that killed Gen. Greene and wounded at least 15 oth­ers, in­clud­ing a Ger­man gen­eral and two Af­ghan gen­er­als at Mar­shal Fahim Na­tional De­fense Univer­sity, west of the Af­ghan cap­i­tal, Kabul.

The sol­dier who opened fire — and was sub­se­quently killed in a shoot­out — was named Rafiqul­lah, was in his early 20s and joined the Af­ghan army more than two years ago, the Af­ghan mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of an­o­nym­ity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to re­lease the in­for­ma­tion. A sec­ond Af­ghan mil­i­tary of­fi­cial cor­rob­o­rated his ac­count.

His mo­tives were not im­me­di­ately known, the of­fi­cials said. He came from a dis­trict in Pak­tia prov­ince known to har­bor fight­ers from the Haqqani net­work, which has strong links to the Tal­i­ban and con­ducts at­tacks against U.S. forces. There also were in­di­ca­tions that Rafiqul­lah had a dis­pute with his own su­pe­ri­ors be­fore the shoot­ing and opened fire be­cause of it, said a U.S. of­fi­cial who spoke on con­di­tion of an­o­nym­ity to dis­cuss in­for­ma­tion not yet made pub­lic.

There was no in­di­ca­tion that Gen. Greene was spe­cif­i­cally tar­geted.

In a state­ment, NATO said Gen. Greene’s body was be­ing pre­pared Wed­nes­day to be flown to the United States via Dover Air Force Base in Del­a­ware.

The Ger­man De­fense Min­is­try iden­ti­fied its wounded of­fi­cer Wed­nes­day as Brig. Gen. Mi­chael Bar­tscher, say­ing he was in sta­ble con­di­tion at Bagh­ram air­field, and that au­thor­i­ties were con­sid­er­ing bring­ing him back home.

Mean­while, vi­o­lence con­tin­ued else­where in Af­ghan­istan as Tal­i­ban fight­ers at­tacked a po­lice check­point in Pak­tia prov­ince. Po­lice killed nine Tal­i­ban fight­ers and wounded 10, while four of­fi­cers were wounded, au­thor­i­ties said.

afghanistan - United States - North America - Asia - Kabul - Central Asia - Taliban - Chuck Hagel - Afghan armed forces - Afghanistan government - North Atlantic Treaty Organization


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