Two NATO troops killed by Afghans: military
KABUL - Agence France-Presse
AFP PhotoAn Afghan soldier and a civilian today killed two troops from the US-led NATO force in Afghanistan, opening fire on them at an outpost in the troubled south of the country, the military said.
The civilian was a literacy teacher who grabbed a weapon from a soldier and opened fire at the military outpost in Kandahar province, Zhary district chief Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi told AFP, identifying the dead as Americans.
Other troops returned fire and killed the teacher, who was working in the base, and an Afghan army soldier, Sarhadi said.
"Two individuals, one believed to be an Afghan National Army service member and the other in civilian clothing, turned their weapons indiscriminately against International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two ISAF service members," ISAF said in a statement.
The US-led NATO force gave no further details.
If the dead are confirmed to be US troops, it will take the death toll to six Americans killed by Afghan colleagues within a week since angry protests erupted over the burning of the Koran at a US military base near Kabul.
NATO withdrew all its advisors from Afghan government ministries last Saturday after two American officers were shot and killed within the interior ministry, apparently by an Afghan colleague.
Two days earlier, two American troops were killed by an Afghan soldier as demonstrators approached their base in the east of the country.
Of the 60 deaths of NATO troops this year, almost one in five has been at the hands of Afghan colleagues -- including up to six Americans, four French and an Albanian.
An Afghan source working with ISAF told AFP "an investigation was ongoing" into whether the latest killings were connected to the burning of the Koran.
Popular outrage erupted after Afghans learned that copies of the Koran were thrown into an incinerator pit at the US-run Bagram airbase, leading US President Barack Obama to apologise for what he described as an error.
Some 40 people were killed in six days of violent demonstrations as protesters targeted Western bases, plunging relations between US-led Western forces and their Afghan allies to an all time low.
The UN pulled international staff out of their base in the northern province of Kunduz after it came under attack Saturday by demonstrators, while on Sunday seven US soldiers were wounded in a grenade attack in the same province.
NATO has a 130,000-strong US-led military force fighting the Taliban, which has led an insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government since being toppled from power in 2001.