NATO says six troops shot dead in east Afghanistan

Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:33am EST
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By Paul Tait

KABUL (Reuters) - Six NATO troops were shot dead by a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform during a training exercise in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the coalition said, the worst apparent "rogue" shooting in more than a year.

The incident appeared to be the latest in a string of recent attacks by renegade police and soldiers, underlining the pressure on NATO-led troops as they try to train Afghan forces rapidly to allow the handover of security responsibility from next year.

However, NATO and Afghan officials were unable to confirm whether the person who carried out the shooting was actually a member of the border police or if it was an insurgent who had infiltrated the Afghan security forces.

Afghan authorities said last year they were tightening vetting procedures for the police and army after a similar incident when a renegade soldier killed five British troops on November 3, 2009.

Aminullah Amarkhil, the head of border police in eastern Afghanistan, said the shooting was in Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. Most of the NATO troops based in Nangarhar are American.

"An individual in an Afghan Border Police uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Forces during a training mission today, killing six service members in eastern Afghanistan," the NATO-led ISAF said in a statement.

The statement said the person who shot the troops was also killed. ISAF said the shooting was being investigated but it gave no other details, including the nationality of those killed.

It was the worst daily casualty toll suffered by ISAF since eight troops were killed in five separate incidents on October 14.   Continued...