KABUL — An Afghan policewoman shot and killed an American adviser outside the police headquarters in Kabul on Monday, a senior Afghan official said. The circumstances of the killing were not immediately clear but the shooting could be another insider attack by Afghans against their foreign allies.
A NATO command spokesman, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lester T. Carroll, said the shooter was taken into Afghan custody shortly after the incident. The slain adviser was a contractor but the name and nationality of the deceased were being withheld, Carroll said.
Deputy Police Chief Mohammad Daoud Amin said it has not been determined whether the American adviser's death was intentional or accidental. He said an investigation was under way and declined to give more details of the incident, which occurred in central Kabul on the compound housing the governor of the city and near a number of key ministries.
"We can confirm that a civilian police adviser was shot and killed this morning by a suspected member of the Afghan uniform. The suspected shooter is in Afghan custody," Carroll said. He said Afghan and NATO officials were still trying to confirm initial reports that the shooter was a policewoman.
The killing came just hours after an Afghan policeman shot five of his colleagues at a checkpoint in northern Afghanistan late Monday. The attacker then stole his colleague's weapons and fled to join the Taliban, said deputy provincial governor in Jawzjan province, Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani.
More than 60 international allies, including troops and civilian advisers, have been killed by Afghan soldiers or police this year, and a number of other insider attacks as they are known are still under investigations. NATO forces, due to mostly withdraw from the country by 2014, have speeded up efforts to train and advise Afghan military and police units before the pullout.
The surge in insider attacks is throwing doubt on the capability of the Afghan security forces to take over from international troops and has further undermined public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries.
In February, two U.S. soldiers, Lt. Col. John D. Loftis and Maj. Robert J. Marchanti, died from wounds received during an attack by an Afghan policeman at the Interior Ministry in Kabul. The incident forced NATO to temporarily pull out their advisers from a number of ministries and police units and revise procedures in dealing with Afghan counterparts.
More than 50 Afghan members of the government's security forces also have died this year in attacks by their own colleagues. Taliban militants claim such attacks reflect a growing popular opposition to both foreign military presence and the Kabul government.
In Sunday's attack, Jawzjani, the provincial official, said the attacker was an Afghan policeman manning a checkpoint in Dirzab District who turned his weapon on five colleagues before fleeing to the militant Islamist group.
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