Afghan official kills two NATO soldiers in Panjshir: police

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 09, 2011 5:43 AM
Afghan official kills two NATO soldiers in Panjshir: police

BAZARAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) - An agent from Afghanistan's intelligence unit opened fire at a foreign base on Saturday, killing two soldiers from the NATO-led coalition and wounding a third, the police chief of normally peaceful northern Panjshir province said.

The agent from the National Directorate of Security (NDS) was in the Panjshir valley for personal reasons, when he got into an argument with soldiers from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), police chief General Qaseem Junglebagh told Reuters.

"He had a pistol, opened fire and killed two soldiers from the PRT. He injured a third who opened fire and killed the NDS agent," Junglebagh said.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed there had been a shooting in Panjshir that caused "a number of ISAF casualties" but declined to comment further.

The deaths are the latest in a string of killings of foreign troops by Afghan security forces. Often NATO forces have been targeted by men they were mentoring or fighting beside.

The deputy governor of Panjshir, Abdul Rahman Kabiri, also confirmed two soldiers had been killed, and said the NDS agent worked in Kabul but was originally from Panjshir's Dara district, where the shooting took place.

Kabiri and Junglebagh said they had no details on the cause of the argument.

Panjshir and Bamiyan, which have long been peaceful anti-Taliban strongholds, are the only provinces that will be handed over in their entirety in the first phase of transition. Both are already largely in Afghan hands.

A month ago, an Italian civilian was killed in a dispute with villagers in Panjshir province. It was the first killing of a foreigner in the province in years.

Other areas slated for transition include the cities of Herat in the west, Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand in the south, long a Taliban stronghold and still one of the most violent provinces in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi and Ahmad Qiam, writing by Emma Graham-Harrison, editing by Michelle Nichols and Sugita Katyal)