In this Sunday, March 11, 2012 photo, an Afghan soldier uses his mobile phone to photograph blood stains on the wall of a home, the scene of an apparent shooting rampage by a U.S. soldier in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan. The United States has paid $50,000 in compensation for each Afghan killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in the shooting spree allegedly committed by a U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan, an Afghan official and a community elder said Sunday. The sums, much larger than typical payments made by the U.S. to families of civilians killed in military operations in Afghanistan, come as the U.S. tries to mend relations following the killing rampage that has threatened to undermine the international effort here.
KABUL: A man in an Afghan army uniform shot and killed two international service members Monday inside a NATO base in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
The attack appeared to be the latest in a string of so-called "green on blue" attacks in which Afghan security forces have turned on their international colleagues or mentors. Such attacks have become increasingly common over the past year, particularly since the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February.
Six U.S. soldiers were killed in apparent revenge attacks following that act, which also sparked riots that left dozens of Afghans dead. U.S. officials have said the religious materials were burned by mistake.
Details were still sketchy about Monday morning's attack. NATO said in a statement that an individual wearing an Afghan soldier's uniform turned his weapon against international troops. Coalition forces then returned fire.
"The gunman was shot and killed," said NATO spokesman Maj. Jason Waggoner. He declined to provide further details.
There have been more than 45 attacks by Afghans on NATO colleagues in Afghanistan since 2007, more than 75 percent of those in the last two years, according to Pentagon data.
It is also possible that the assailant was an insurgent who donned an Afghan army uniform to get into the base or to get closer to his targets. Army uniforms are readily available in Afghan markets and militants have used the tactic in the past to launch sneak attacks.
A Western official in southern Afghanistan confirmed that the incident happened at the main NATO base in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, but declined to give further information. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been officially released.
Monday's attack also comes two weeks after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a pre-dawn shooting rampage in neighboring Kandahar province, killing at least 16 people and wounding six.
The Lashkar Gah base is dominated by British forces. Britain's Ministry of Defense said it was aware of the incident, but refused to release any more details or confirm whether the soldiers were British.