KABUL, Afghanistan An Afghan soldier turned his weapon against foreign and Afghan troops in a southern province, killing one British soldier, another attack by a member of Afghanistan’s military against its foreign allies, officials said Tuesday.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, the first insider attack of 2013. Several British soldiers were also reported wounded.
Such “insider attacks” by Afghan soldiers and police, or men wearing their uniforms, rose dramatically last year. The attacks come as NATO and Afghan forces are in closer contact, as foreign troops hand over security to the Afghans and train them before an almost total withdrawal by the end of 2014.
NATO command spokesman Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz identified the dead soldier in Monday’s shooting as British, but his name was not released.
“Yesterday, a suspected member of the Afghan national army shot and killed a British [NATO] soldier,” Katz told a news conference. He said the shooting occurred at a patrol base in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand province and that the shooter fired at both Afghan and British troops. He said the shooting is under investigation.
An Afghan Defense Ministry official said the gunman was an enlisted soldier, and six British soldiers were wounded. The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to brief reporters.