A U.S. Army two-star major general was killed Tuesday in an insider attack at an Afghan military training facility, U.S. Defense and military officials told NBC News. He was later identified as Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, a native of upstate New York. The insider attack occurred today and began when a number of high ranking officers were visiting the military compound.
According to Reuters, the slain general was the most senior U.S. military official killed in action overseas since at least the 1991 Gulf War, and possibly since the war in Vietnam, U.S. military officials said. 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 U.S. General was not the only high ranking official injured in the attack; a German General was also injured during the attack. An Afghan intelligence source told NBC News that a high-level ISAF delegation was visiting and touring the academy when the shooter opened fire from a window. Two senior Afghan officers also were injured in the attack, the source added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Unfortunately, the death toll is expected to increase since a number of the wounded have serious life-threatening injuries and may not survive. The attack was carried out by an insider in the complex who is believed to be an Afghan soldier. The shooter, who had an automatic weapon, opened fire on the complex and was wearing an Afghan military uniform at the time according to witnesses. This is not the first insider attack on military complexes by trainee Afghan troops. Therefore, many are questioning if the training of Afghan troops is worth the risk. The name of the attacker has not been disclosed, but a senior security source told NBC News that the suspected gunman was a bodyguard of the Paktia provincial governor, and his fellow soldiers killed him during the ambush.
Adding to the tension in the area, Reuters reports a NATO air strike hit a vehicle carrying civilians in western Herat province, killing four members of a family returning from a wedding, including two children.
Many are questioning if the U.S. and NATO should be involved in endeavors of the Afghan military, pointing to incidents like today to push for troops to be removed from the situation. What do you think about the U.S. involvement with Afghan troops?
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