Afghan pilot kills nine Americans

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eight American troops and one contractor were shot and killed by an Afghan National Army Air Force pilot Wednesday. Five Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The incident, which began around 10 a.m. Afghan time (0530 UTC), occurred in the operations room of the Afghan Air Force in Kabul International Airport. The shooter, Ahmad Gul Sahebi, was killed by NATO forces.

"Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started," said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Colonel 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."

The shooter's brother, Hassan Sahebi, said, "My brother was a little depressed recently, but he had served with Afghanistan's national army for 20 years. He loved his country and his people. He was a good man." He also said that his brother was facing financial troubles, but was not connected with the Taliban. A spokesman for the militia group, however, described Ahmad Gul Sahebi as an informant and sleeper agent who began planning the shooting five months ago.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai quickly condemned the attack and offered condolence to the victims and their families. He also said that the police and military would investigate the matter. Wednesday's incident is the seventh this year in which NATO or Afghan forces have been killed by rogue Afghan troops or insurgents dressed as troops.

Sources

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