Thursday 14 December 2017

Nine killed by Afghan pilot during airport row

Julius Cavendish in Kabul

EIGHT AMERICAN soldiers and a civilian contractor were shot and killed by an Afghan pilot in Kabul yesterday after an argument erupted during a meeting at the military airport.

It is the deadliest instance of a member of the Afghan security forces turning on his foreign trainers, and the latest in a series of morale-sapping incidents highlighting the inadequacies of the Afghan police and military.

The Afghan air force officer of 20 years standing reportedly burst into a daily briefing at the Afghan Air Corps headquarters at Kabul airport and began arguing with foreign mentors.

"Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started," said Air Corps spokesman Colonel Mohammed Bahadur Raeeskhail.

Yesterday's shooting comes after a spate of security lapses that in recent days have seen almost 500 Taliban prisoners tunnel out of their high-security jail, and a provincial police chief blown up by a man in police uniform.

It is another reminder of the fragility of Nato plans to start turning the country over to the Afghan police and military in July. (© Independent News Services)

Irish Independent

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