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Afghan officer opens fire on U.S. soldiers

One American dies in the attack. A bomb kills 3 coalition troops.

September 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — An Afghan policeman opened fire on U.S. troops at a police station, killing an American soldier and wounding three before American troops shot him dead, officials said Monday.

"Initial reports suggest that a rogue ANP [Afghan police] official turned on our forces and shot and killed one of our soldiers," said Col. John "Pete" Johnson, commander of Task Force Currahee in eastern Afghanistan.

The shooting took place Sunday in Paktia province after American troops and Afghan police brought suspected militants to the station. The policeman also wounded one of the detainees and an Afghan interpreter working for the Americans, officials said.

Three detainees escaped during the confusion, Johnson said.

When asked whether the Taliban or another militant group had infiltrated the police, he said: "I think that's certainly an assumption that you could make, but at this point, I can't confirm it. I don't know what the motivations were for the ANP to turn on our forces and shoot them and shoot the detainee. Quite frankly, this is way out of the norm. . . . This is the first incident of its kind."

Meanwhile, the U.S.-led coalition said three of its troops were killed in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition did not release any other details, including the nationalities of the troops or the blast's location.

Most of the troops in the coalition are American but it does include forces from other countries.

More U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan already this year than in any year since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. At least 131 U.S. forces have died this year, according to a count by the independent website icasualties.org.

The total number of American dead since the conflict began is at least 606.

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