An investigation into the killing of a US major-general and wounding of at least 15 other troops, including a German brigadier general, is underway, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deputy commander said on Saturday.
The incident would not affect NATO’s ties with Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Carsten Jacobson told newsmen in Kabul. The shooting happened at an officers’ academy at Camp Qargha in Kabul, where a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform apparently turned his weapon against Americans.
It was a personal attack, Jacobson believed, saying the shooting was carried out by a man in his personal capacity. Investigations were on to determine the real motive behind it, he added.
Jacobson said the Taliban had not claimed responsibility for the assault. Whether the attacker had any links with someone else was being probed, he continued. A strategy is being devised to counter such attacks, as ISAF completes its combat mission after 13 years.
Afghan security forces had become more competent professionally, he acknowledged, saying they were carrying out 100 percent of operations on their own while ISAF had a cooperative role.
He promised the NATO-led force would continue cooperation with Afghan security forces after the end of the current year and extend air support, if needed.
He referred in passing to a recent operation in the Hesarak district of Nangarhar, where heavy losses were inflicted on militants with ISAF air support.
“We will continue supporting Afghan forces until they stand on their own feet,” he pledged, praising them for tight security during presidential and provincial council elections and the burial ceremony for Muhammad Qaseem Fahim.
On the election, he said ISAF had transferred around 22,000 ballot boxes from provinces to the capital with great care. There was a marked reduction in militant attacks this year, he claimed.
He said the Afghan Air Force was in the process of being developed but it would take some time emerging as a strong power. It was imperative to initially train the technical and pilot force, he opined.