KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — An Afghan policeman opened fire and threw a hand grenade at a U.S. military patrol in eastern Afghanistan, killing an American soldier and raising fears that insurgents have infiltrated the police force, officials said Thursday.
Also, an airstrike by foreign troops in the southern province of Helmand killed several women and children, a provincial police chief said. Troops led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said in a statement that they were aware of an airstrike in Nad Ali district but were "unable to confirm any civilian casualties."
The attack on the Americans came as a foot patrol was returning to a base in the Bermel district of Paktika province. A police officer on a tower attacked the patrol, the U.S. military said, and the troops returned fire, killing the man.
It was the second attack on U.S. soldiers by an Afghan policeman in less than a month. Militants have disguised themselves in police and army uniforms when conducting attacks on Afghan and foreign troops, but the two incidents involved actual policemen.