News / Asia

Afghan Fires on Trainers, Killing 3

An Afghan police officer has fired on Spanish trainers in northwestern Afghanistan, killing two Spanish officers and their interpreter.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba says Spanish personnel returned fire and killed the assailant.  The incident happened Wednesday during a training exercise at a Spanish base in the town of Qalay-I-Naw in Baghdis province.

Rubalcaba said the Afghan policeman worked as a driver for one of the officers he killed. The minister called the shooting a premeditated terrorist attack.

NATO said it took place during a mentoring session between international troops and Afghan police. The motive for the shooting was unclear.  Afghan police say it erupted after an argument between the Spanish and Afghan officers.

News of the Afghan police officer's death angered residents of the town, prompting hundreds to throw rocks at the base and try to storm it.  At least 25 people were injured as security personnel tried to disperse the crowd.

Authorities have expressed concern in the past about the infiltration of Taliban militants or sympathizers into the Afghan police force. Last month, an Afghan soldier killed three British troops in the southern province of Helmand.

In violence Tuesday, an Australian soldier was killed in a gunbattle with the Taliban in the southern province of Uruzgan.  An American soldier was killed in a separate attack in southern Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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