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Entries in American Soldiers (7)

Friday
Aug102012

Three US Soldiers Killed by Gunman Wearing Afghan Security Uniform

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The latest spate of "green on blue" shootings in Afghanistan has cost the lives of three more American soldiers.

NATO said on Friday that the troops were killed late Thursday in the southern province of Helmand by a gunman dressed in an Afghan security forces uniform.

The assailant was identified as a police checkpost commander who managed to escape after the shooting. The shooter remains at large.

Earlier this week, two men dressed in Afghan uniforms gunned down an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan, while another uniformed attacker was shot dead Thursday when he fired on NATO troops in Laghman province.

So far in 2012, there have been more than 25 "green-on-blue" shootings in which coalition troops have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or insurgents posing as security forces.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

Taliban Welcomes Rogue Afghan Who Shot US Soldiers as Hero

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A new online video shows a rogue Afghan soldier receiving a hero's welcome from Taliban commanders, after returning from a mission where he killed an American soldier in cold blood.

The video, released by the Taliban's media propaganda wing, shows the soldier returning to a Taliban village in Ghaziabad in Kunar province, with dozens of Taliban men lined up to greet him.  The soldier, wearing an Afghan Army uniform, identifies himself as Ghazi Mahmood, or "Warrior Mahmood."

Men with white Taliban flags, some with their faces covered, others carrying rocket propelled grenade launchers, throng around him, parading him through the village as insurgents shower him with flower garlands and chant "Long Live Mahmood."

"I opened fire on three Americans who were sitting together," the man explains calmly in the video.  "The reason I killed them is because they have occupied our country.  They are enemies of our religion and they kill our innocent people."

In another scene, the rogue soldier is seated outside a wooden structure, surrounded by armed insurgents, some of whose faces are blurred.  Standing in a row in front are dozens of young madrassa students, who pump their fists into the air cheering "Jihad, Jihad" and "Long live the warrior."

The video offers rare glimpse into the world of Afghan Taliban-style chivalry, where those who kill Americans often receive fame, family honor, and in some cases, money from insurgent commanders to support their families.

In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson with the International Security and Assistance Force, or ISAF, suggested the video only serves to get more young Afghans to die for a "fruitless cause."

"The insurgents are well versed at taking a snapshot in time and then alleging that it reflects a broader movement," said James Graybeal.  "We know better… Today, the vast majority of the 350,000 members of the Afghan National Security Forces are serving honorably and defending their country against those with no positive vision for the future."

Although the video cannot be independently verified, its authenticity is supported by several corroborating facts on the ground.

On May 11, a shooting took place in a camp run by the Afghan National Army, where American troops had gone to train Afghan soldiers.  A rogue guard at the camp opened fire, killing at least one American and injuring two others before escaping.  The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility, saying that a gunman named "Mahmood" was responsible and that he had returned to a Taliban camp in the remote region.  The gunman's name was later confirmed by Afghan officials.

The attack happened at the beginning of the Taliban's annual summer offensive, amid heightening concern over an escalation in so-called green-on-blue attacks, where Afghan soldiers turn their weapons against their American partners.  There have been at least 20 such attacks this year, a frequency much higher than in years past, complicating NATO's efforts to train Afghan soldiers ahead of the U.S. troop withdrawal in 2014.

In the past, NATO and Afghan officials have said most of the attacks are motivated not by support for the Taliban, but for "private reasons" including grievances against local Afghan commanders, ethnic feuds and depression.  Senior U.S. officials have insisted the attacks don't indicate a high level of Taliban infiltration into the army.

Tuesday's video shows otherwise, suggesting that rogue Afghan soldiers who kill their American counterparts will find strong support among insurgents.  The presence of so many young children in the video also suggests a new generation of green-on-blue attackers could be waiting in the wings.

"Are there others who will carry out attacks similar to what you have?" the rogue soldier is asked during the video.

"Yes" he replies.  "There are some people who are looking for the opportunity to kill infidels.  They will carry out their jihad and join us."

Likely, to a hero's welcome.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar022012

Afghan Soldier Opens Fire at US Troops in Kabul; No Injures Reported

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- An Afghan soldier opened fire on American forces in Afghanistan Friday, one day after a teacher and another member of the Afghan National Army turned their guns on U.S. troops, killing two.

The incident took place at a base near Kabul.  Shots were fired as a U.S. helicopter was trying to land there.

It's unclear if the Afghan soldier dropped the weapon, if it went off by accident or if the shooting was in fact intentional.  The shooter has been taken into custody and the Ministry of Defence is investigating the matter.

Although NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joint Command said no one was injured in Friday's attack, the incident highlights the danger U.S. troops are facing in Afghanistan.

Six American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in three separate incidents since the U.S. military admitted to burning the Muslim holy book, the Koran, sparking nationwide protests and riots.  And so far this year, more than one in six of the NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been killed by their Afghan partners.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr122011

US Drone Linked to American Troop Deaths in Afghanistan

U.S. Air Force(WASHINGTON) -- The deaths of two American soldiers in Afghanistan last week may have been the result of a so-called friendly-fire incident.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said there's the possibility that the troops were accidentally struck by a drone-fired missile.

Families of the two American soldiers -- Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith, 26, and Navy Corpsman Benjamin Rast, 23 -- have already been notified by the military that they were killed outside Sangin in Afghanistan's restive Helmand Province, once a Taliban stronghold.

The U.S. uses unmanned drones on surveillance missions and to target Taliban and al Qaeda militants operating over the border in Pakistan, although the State Department never publicly acknowledges these assaults.

The ISAF said that the investigation into the soldiers' deaths is still in the preliminary stages and no conclusions have been reached.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr032011

Two US Service Members Dead in Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- Two American service members died Saturday in Iraq when enemy forces attacked their unit with what U.S. Central Command called indirect fire.

The fatalities are the first U.S. deaths reported for the month of April.

The names of the dead have not yet been released.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr012011

Six US Soldiers Killed in Ongoing Afghan Operation

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Six American soldiers were killed during an ongoing operation in eastern Afghanistan earlier this week, according to government officials.

The operation, a helicopter-borne assault that is now in its fourth day, occurred in a remote area of Kunar Province.  Its purpose is to show force and make a statement that there will be no safe haven for the enemy in a part of Afghanistan where the U.S. has pulled back from small bases.

ABC News' Mike Boettcher, who was the lone reporter on scene, called the assault "the toughest firefight I’ve ever seen."

Along with the fallen soldiers, the military said at least 10 people have been injured in the assault, although Boettcher, who is said to be fine, reported seeing more wounded.  One Afghan soldier was also killed.

Boettcher was later informed that roughly 50 Taliban fighters from Pakistan and Afghanistan were killed in the operation.  A Taliban radio headquarters was also destroyed.

The Pentagon has identified the six soldiers killed in the engagement as Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, of Hialeah, Florida; Staff Sgt. Frank E. Adamski III, of Moosup, Connecticut; Spc. Jameson L. Lindskog, of Pleasanton, California; Staff Sgt. Bryan A. Burgess, of Cleburne, Texas; Spc. Dustin J. Feldhaus, of Glendale, Arizona; and Pvt. Jeremy P. Faulkner, of Griffin, Georgia.

The men were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec092010

First US Soldier Killed in Iraq for Month of December

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Department of Defense/Petty Officer 2nd Class Ted Green, U.S. Navy(BAGHDAD) -- A U.S. soldier was killed in action in Iraq Wednesday, marking the first death of an American troop in that country for the month of December.

The soldier was killed while conducting operations in Southern Iraq.  The service member's name is being witheld until family members are notified of the death.  The U.S. Department of Defense will release the name after next of kin have been notified.

Officials are investigating the incident.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio