Conflict & Justice

Albanian soldier dead after men in Afghan police uniforms open fire on NATO forces


German soldiers of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) receive flowers during a security transition ceremony July 23, 2011 in Mazar-e-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan. The Afghan government officially took control of security from NATO forces in the capital of the peaceful northern province of Balkh , part of an effort to begin handing over all security responsibilities to Afghan forces by 2014, next is the city of Kabul.


Majid Saeedi

An Albanian NATO soldier was shot dead in southern Afghanistan by gunmen wearing Afghan police uniforms on Monday, the Associated Press reported

A second Albanian and another international soldier were also wounded in the shooting, officials reported. Eleven suspected policemen were arrested in connection to the attack. 

Albanian President Bamir Topi denounced the shooting as a "grave terrorist act" and called for the punishment of those responsible, the AP reported. This is the first Albanian of 265 troops to be killed in Afghanistan.

Monday's shooting occurred in the village of Robat, in Kandahar province on the border of Pakistan, said Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq. The NATO troops were there for a meeting about opening two schools and a health center, according the Albanian defense ministry.

The soldiers "found themselves attacked by a group of persons wearing uniforms of the Afghan police," Brig. Gen. Viktor Berdo, the head of Albanian land forces, told reporters. 

The shooting is the in latest in a growing number of attacks that have threatened the international military commitment to Afghanistan. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting, but it fits the pattern of Taliban attacks, which target government installations or security forces, according to the AP.

Last month, France's president Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to withdraw French forces a year ahead of schedule after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers on a base in eastern Afghanistan.

More from GlobalPost: Afghanistan: France suspends training ops after Afghan soldier shoots dead 4 French troops

Three Italian soldiers were also killed on Monday, in a vehicle accident in western Afghanistan, according to the AP.