KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Three men wearing Afghan police uniforms opened fire at coalition service members in southern Afghanistan on early Monday morning, killing an American service member and injuring at least nine others, officials in both countries said. It may be the latest incident in a series of Afghan security forces turning their weapons against foreign troops.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said one of its service members was killed when three individuals in Afghan Police uniforms opened fire at coalition service members in Afghanistan’s south, killing one of them. “The three individuals immediately fled the area and are currently being sought,” the alliance said in a brief statement.
It was not immediately clear if the gunmen were official members of the police force or if they were insurgents who were simply dressed as police officers. It is believed the attack took place in Kandahar province, but military officials would neither confirm nor deny that.
The nationality of the victim was also not immediately released, but a U.S. military official speaking on the condition of anonymity said it involved an American service member. The U.S. official said at least nine other American service members were injured in the attack, but he gave no details about their conditions.
If Monday’s shooting is confirmed to have been carried out by Afghan police officers, it would add to an increasingly frequent series of attacks by Afghan security forces against foreign troops. At least 22 coalition service members have been killed by Afghan security forces this year alone, not including the victim of Monday’s attack.
Also on Monday, the Army Operational Command in Denmark said a Danish soldier was seriously injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off near a military base in Helmand province. “The soldier received first aid at the scene and was soon after flown to the field hospital at Camp Bastion,” the command said in a statement. The soldier was able to inform his family himself.
There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.