American General Killed in Afghanistan
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A U.S. Army two star major general was killed today, and 15 other soldiers were wounded, in an attack at a military academy in Afghanistan.
The shooting occurred at Camp Qargha, a military academy situated roughly 11 miles west of Kabul. A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire on Americans and other Afghans. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the shooting.
The deceased general remains anonymous, as the U.S. military is in the process of notifying next of kin, and a U.S. official said he was the highest-ranking officer killed during the Afghan War. American generals typically have their own security details.
UPDATE: The identity of the general is Harold J. “Harry” Greene, of Boston.
Of the 15 soldiers wounded, eight are Americans, and all are expected to survive. Others wounded included German soldiers. The camp trains Afghan forces, and was recently renamed the Marshal Fahim National Defense University for the country’s deceased vice president.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack, commenting, “The soldiers were visiting the military academy to help with the buildup of Afghan security forces.” Karzai attributed the attack on “enemies who don’t want to see Afghanistan have strong institutions.”
Here is some raw footage of the training facility where the shooting occurred:
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command said in a statement, “We are in the process of assessing the situation. More information will be released as we sort out the facts.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 5, 2014
So far there have been 3465 coalition military fatalities since Operation Enduring Freedom commenced in 2001.
Rear Admiral John Kirby said the shooter was believed to be an Afghan soldier, constituting the latest “green-on-blue” attack, in which members of the Afghan forces have assaulted U.S. and coalition forces. There have been over 85 green-on-blue attacks so far during the war, though they have become less common.
“The insider threat, it’s a pernicious threat … it’s impossible to completely eliminate that threat,” Kirby said.
Image via Wikimedia Commons