Eight foreign troops killed in Kabul airport shooting

Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:49am GMT

By Hamid Shalizi

KABUL (Reuters) - Eight troops from the NATO-led force in Afghanistan were killed in a shooting involving an Afghan Air Force pilot at Kabul's airport on Wednesday, NATO said, in one of the deadliest incidents of "rogue" Afghans turning their weapons on foreign soldiers.

A contractor, whose identity was not known, was also killed in the shooting, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The shooting follows a string of attacks by Afghan forces against their NATO-led mentors carried out either by "rogue" soldiers or by insurgents in uniform who have managed to infiltrate their ranks.

Such incidents highlight the challenge for U.S. and NATO forces as they try to prepare for a gradual handover of security responsibilities that is scheduled to begin in July and end with the withdrawal of all foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) released a brief statement saying eight troops and the contractor had been killed in the airport shooting. It gave no further details about the incident or about the nationality of those killed. The death toll had earlier been put at six.

An ISAF spokesman said: "We can confirm an incident took place in the Afghan Air Force compound within the airport involving small-arms fire. We do not know what started the incident."

The Afghan Defence Ministry issued a statement shortly after the incident saying several people had been killed and wounded after a shooting involving one of its Air Force pilots.

It gave no further details except that the shooting had followed a dispute. Afghan media said a veteran Air Force pilot had opened fire on the ISAF troops.   Continued...

<p>Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers arrive at the gate of the Afghan air force compound in Kabul April 27, 2011. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani</p>
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