Ahmad Gul Sahebi, 48-year old veteran Afghan pilot, opened fired on trainers during a meeting in a military compound near Kabul International Airport in the capital city. Eight U.S. troops and an American contractor were killed in the incident.
According to Afghan and NATO officials, Sahebi started shooting during a meeting in the operations room of the Afghan National Army Air Corps building about 10 a.m. on Wednesday after having an argument with a foreign colleague. He only targeted foreign instructors. Sahebi was killed by NATO quick-reaction force as they quickly responded to the shooting.
Taliban was quick to take responsibility for the attack.
He claimed the shooter he called Azizullah was an insurgent from Kabul’s conservative Arzan Qimat neighborhood on the city’s outskirts who succeeded in posing as a pilot with help from Afghan security forces and died when he ran out of bullets.
“The Afghan Air Force Corps officers fully helped the suicide attacker to get in and start shooting at [Afghan] and foreign soldiers,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
He said Azizullah contacted Taliban officials two years ago, and had been feeding them information. He planned his attack for five months, but it was only approved the day before because he was a valuable source.
“This attack indicates that we can access any security forces facilities of the enemy we want,” Mujahid said. “We have our infiltrators in all sections.”Source: www.latimes.com
But Sahebi’s brother refutes the claim.
Dr. Hassan Sahebi, a Kabul neurologist, described his brother as a dedicated soldier who was not affiliated with the Taliban or other insurgents. He said in a telephone interview that his brother had been wounded four or five times in the line of duty and was once so severely injured when his plane crashed that he had to be operated on 22 times.
“My brother was a little depressed recently, but he had served with Afghanistan’s national army for 20 years,” Sahebi said. Earlier, in a television interview, Sahebi said the pilot had recently been forced to sell his home. “He loved his country and his people. … He was a good man.”Source: www.latimes.com
The attack happened despite multiple upgrades to the security of the complex. The incidence requires a re-evaluating the security of the training complex. Not sure if the incidence was planned by Taliban or was an outburst by a depressed maniac, the incidence shows the dangers that our troops face on day-to-day basis in Afghanistan/Iraq.