9 are dead after a retired Afghani veteran air force officer gunned down eight U.S. soldiers and one contractor over an alleged argument in Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
This is the deadliest episode to date of an Afghani turning on collation forces, though NATO says there is no evidence Taliban are infilitrating security forces to kill coalition forces, something the Taliban denies.
“Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started,” said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Col. Bahader. “After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away.”
Numerous U.S. soldiers suffered broken bones and bruises and one Afghan soldier was shot during the massacre.
The gunman, Ahmad Gul, who was killed, was having financial troubles having just sold his house and had no ties to insurgent forces according to his brother.
“He was 48 years old,” Sahibi, the gunman’s brother told a private television station in Kabul, “He served his country for years. He loved his people and his country. He had no link with Taliban or Al Qaeda.
“He was under economic pressures and recently he sold his house. He was going through a very difficult period of time in his life.”
Those killed were advisers for the Afghani air force.
The Taliban have claimed credit for the attack. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said others at the facility helped him gain access.
Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi says the gunman was a 20 year air force veteran.
“An argument happened between him and the foreigners and we have to investigate that,” Azimi said.
This is the seventh time this year that coalition forces including Americans have been killed by Afghan security forces who may have been infiltrated by the Taliban, though NATO continues to deny Taliban involvement.
The continuing trend of violence in Afghanistan has critics of President Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan questioning the direction and goal of the mission there.