WASHINGTON — An Army major general was shot and killed Tuesday near Kabul, Afghanistan, in an insider attack that also claimed at least 10 other casualties, Pentagon officials confirmed Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the two-star general was believed to have been fatally shot by an Afghan soldier. The shooter was killed during the incident, Kirby said.
The injuries sustained by other victims ranged from minor to serious, he added.
The general is believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed since in a hostile action since the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Kirby declined to identify him, saying officials were still in the process of notifying his next of kin.
“It’s a terrible day, a terrible tragedy,” Kirby said.
According to the International Security Assistance Force, the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, the incident occurred at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul City.
Kirby said the investigation into the incident is just beginning, and did not release any further details about the victim’s identities or the circumstances surrounding the attack.
The attack represents a renewal of the insider attacks by Afghans that plagued the U.S. and its allies two years ago, and it is likely to lead to new security steps to protect the U.S. forces that remain in Afghanistan.
The death of a senior officer may also deepen rifts between the U.S. and its Afghan allies ahead of the planned withdrawal of most American troops at the end of this year.
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