Ghani Inaugurates Air Cargo Route To India

A member of an elite Afghan commando unit opened fire on US -led coalition troops at an Afghan base in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, wounding seven USA service personnel and at least one Afghan soldier, military officials say.

At least one Afghan was also killed in the incident, while another was injured.

A spokesman for the USA military command in Kabul denied earlier comments by an Afghan official that Americans had been killed, but confirmed that an unspecified number of soldiers had been wounded. It was the second such insider attack by an Afghan soldier in the past week. The others fought a battle with Afghan special forces that had responded to the attack.

The report says since 2007, insider attacks have killed 157 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation personnel and 557 members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

RS indicates that the attack took place around 2 pm local time (5:30 am Quebec time) on the base of Shahin, one of the largest in the country, about 10 kilometers from Mazar-i-Sharif, which hosts the 209th Corps and covers nine provinces.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan embassy in Kabul said in a statement on Monday that Pakistan too intends to open a transit route for Afghan exports.

"We have an enemy who is actively trying to drive a wedge between us", Operation Resolute Support said in a statement.

"It would enable Afghan farmers quick and direct access to the Indian markets for their perishable produce", said Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary, (PAI-Pakistan, Afghanistan, India) in the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi.

"We understand that the soldiers were getting back into their vehicle when a soldier from the Afghan national army picked up what is said to be a rocket-propelled grenade and fired it at the group of soldiers, and that is how these injuries have happened".

Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the group, claimed to have killed "scores of security personnel" in this attack. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.

The Pentagon is weighing the possibility of sending thousands more troops to the country to train Afghan forces to break what Lt. Gen. John Nicholson calls a stalemate there.

There are about 8,500 USA troops and 5,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

In a separate statement, a US official said four USA military personnel were wounded.

  • Leroy Wright