(AP) KABUL, Afghanistan - A man wearing an Afghan army uniform fatally shot an American service member in southern Afghanistan, officials said Thursday, the latest in a string of attacks against U.S. and other foreign forces by their Afghan partners or insurgents in disguise.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least 16 attacks against American and other international troops by Afghan security forces or militants dressed as Afghan troops. The shootings have put futher strain ties U.S.-Afghan ties already suffering from a lack of trust following the Quran burnings at a U.S. base and the alleged killing spree by an American soldier in the south in recent months.
The shooter turned his weapon on coalition troops late Wednesday and was killed when the international forces returned fire, the U.S. military said in a statement without providing further details. The incident was under investigation, it said.
A senior U.S. defense official said the person killed was an American. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release details.
It is also possible that the attacker was an insurgent disguised in an Afghan army uniform. Such uniforms are easily available in markets here and the Taliban have used the uniforms to mount previous attacks on international or Afghan military installations.
Since 2007, more than 80 NATO service members have been killed by Afghan security forces, according to an Associated Press tally, which is based on Pentagon figures released in February. More than 75 percent of the attacks have occurred in the past two years.