KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan soldier opened fire on a group of Americans at a military depot near Kabul on Wednesday, killing two and wounding another three in the latest outbreak of “green on blue” insider violence, American and Afghan officials said.
A statement from the United States military in Afghanistan said one of the people killed had been a service member and the other a civilian. “One U.S. service member and two U.S. civilians also sustained wounds and are currently stable,” the statement said.
Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry, said the Afghan soldier opened fire on a team of coalition forces around 11 a.m. at one of the Afghan Army’s largest ammunition and food depots, southwest of Kabul. American officials said the attacker was killed.
Green-on-blue attacks caused enormous strain between Americans and Afghans at its peak in 2012, when 44 such incidents caused about 15 percent of the total coalition deaths that year.
Since then, the number of incidents has dropped with the decrease in the number of coalition forces, who have drawn down to less than 10,000 troops. The attack on Wednesday was the third this year.
In its proscribed role as an advisory force — limits that have been increasingly stretched as Afghan forces have struggled to hold off Taliban offensives — the American-led international force in Afghanistan has sustained 10 deaths so far this year.
As the Afghan forces have taken the lead in the fighting, they have suffered casualties that many fear may not be sustainable. Over the past six months, the Afghan police and Army suffered about 4,500 deaths and about 8,000 wounded.
With the war raging — and becoming deadlier as it extends to urban areas — civilian casualties have also remained at record numbers, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said on Wednesday. In the first nine months of the year, the mission documented 8,397 casualties, with 2,562 of them deaths.
The United Nations expressed particular concern about the rise in child casualties for three years straight, as well as the increase in the share of casualties caused by Afghan government forces. During the first nine months of the year, the United Nations recorded 2,461 child casualties, 639 of them deaths, which shows a 15 percent increase over the same period last year.
The Afghan government forces were responsible for 1,897 casualties, among them 623 deaths, which makes up 23 percent of the overall civilian casualties, the United Nations said. That is a 42 percent increase over the same period last year.
“Increased fighting in densely populated areas makes it imperative for parties to take immediate steps to ensure all feasible precautions are being taken to spare civilians from harm,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan.
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