Afghan Policeman Turns On His Colleagues, Kills Seven

US officials prepared today to fly the body of a two-star general slain in an Afghan "insider attack" back home, as a similar attack saw an Afghan police officer drug and shoot dead seven of his colleagues, authorities said.

The investigation into the killing of Maj Gen Harold J Greene, the highest-ranked US officer to be slain in combat since 1970 in the Vietnam War, continued today without any clear answers into why a man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire. The shooting wounded about 15 people, including a German general and two Afghan generals.

In a statement, NATO said Greene's body was being prepared to be flown to the US via Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Maj Gen Greene's family, and the families of our soldiers who were injured yesterday in the tragic events that took place in Kabul," NATO said.

"These soldiers were professionals, committed to the mission."

Greene, a 34-year US Army veteran, was the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. About half of the wounded in yesterday's attack at Marshal Fahim National Defense University were Americans, several of them reported to be in serious condition.

Early indications suggested the Afghan gunman who killed the American general was inside a building and fired indiscriminately from a window at the people gathered outside, a US official said. There was no indication that Greene was specifically targeted, the US official said. The official was not authorised to speak publicly by name about the incident and provided the information only on condition of anonymity.

The site of the attack is part of a military compound known as Camp Qargha, sometimes called "Sandhurst in the Sand" referring to the famed British military academy because British forces oversaw building the officer school and its training program.

The attack underscored the tensions that persist as the US and NATO troops' combat role winds down in Afghanistan and it wasn't the only assault by an Afghan ally on coalition forces on yesterday. In eastern Paktia province, an Afghan police guard exchanged fire with NATO troops near the governor's office, provincial police said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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