An Afghan police officer opened fire in a meeting Monday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least two members of the U.S. Special Operations forces and five Afghan troops and police officers, officials said. The attack, one of the deadliest so-called “insider attacks” this year, occurred in Wardak province during a meeting between U.S. and Afghan troops ahead of a joint mission, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.
The attacker stormed into the room where the meeting was being held, spraying machine-gun fire, according to a senior Afghan military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the incident. It was unclear whether the gunman was a Taliban recruit or acting out of personal enmity.
In addition to the men killed, about a dozen U.S. and Afghan troops were injured, including the district police chief, officials said.
The attack came a day after a tense President Hamid Karzai accused the American military of colluding with the Taliban to justify the United States’s continued presence in the country. Karzai’s comment that “the Taliban are serving the foreigners” complicated an already tense weekend visit from U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, whose trip was marred by the Afghan president’s decision to call off a key prison handover from U.S. to Afghan forces and the cancellation of a joint news conference — at the United States’s insistence — due to security concerns.