The New York Times sees — but knows not what it sees.
KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier turned his gun on American military personnel while they were playing volleyball at a camp in southern Afghanistan, killing one and wounding three others before being fatally shot, the Afghan police said on Monday.
It was the third time in just over two weeks that a man wearing an Afghan Army uniform attacked NATO personnel.
And at least the 43rd such fatality in 26 months.
In the earlier cases, the Taliban claimed responsibility, although there was no immediate claim in this case that the Afghan soldier had Taliban sympathies.
Card-carrying Taliban or not, as a Muslim, the ANA soldier was subject to the call of jihad. Fact. I’m sorry about that, but I didn’t write the Koran.
The attack took place on Sunday afternoon in Qalat, the capital of Zabul Province. The Afghan soldier approached the volleyball game and appeared to watch the soldiers play before opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle, said Ghulam Jilani Farahi, deputy police chief of Zabul Province. Another American soldier who heard the firing shot and killed the attacker, he said.
The coalition released a brief statement Sunday saying that a service member “was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.”
Back to the Times account:
Afghan soldiers have repeatedly shot NATO counterparts in recent years, and there is concern among NATO and Afghan commanders that insurgents may be infiltrating the ranks of the Afghan security forces.
Meanwhile, back at the ISAF website, such infiltration — sorry, reintegration — is celebrated.
Mohammad Ashraf Nasiri, the governor of Zabul Province, had a slightly different account of Sunday’s shooting. He said only one American soldier was wounded, in addition to the one American who was killed.
Deputy Chief Farahi said the police were investigating what had caused the Afghan soldier, whom he identified as Shafiullah, to open fire at the camp.
He said Mr. Shafiullah, originally from a Pashtun-dominated region of eastern Afghanistan, was a religious man who spent a lot of his time in the mosque near the camp. He said the soldier and his family used to live in Quetta, Pakistan, which is where the leadership of the Taliban is believed to be, although Quetta also has hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees with no ties to the Taliban. Coalition authorities were now requesting that the Afghan commander of the local garrison hand over details about the soldier’s identity and his references, he said.
A lot of facts. No conclusions. Ever.