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Afghanistan: Two Italian soldiers shot

Afghan army regular opens fire on ISAF troops, US soldier killed

29 December, 14:49
Afghanistan: Two Italian soldiers shot (ANSA) - Rome, December 29 - Two Italian soldiers were slightly injured in Afghanistan Tuesday when an Afghan soldier taking part in an allied operation opened fire, killing one American soldier, the defense ministry reported here.

The incident was said to have taken place in Bala Morghab, in the western province of Herat, while members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), together with Afghan army regulars, were unloading a supply helicopter.

The injured Italians were treated for their wounds by medics on hand and returned to duty, the defense ministry said. The Afghan soldier who shot the Italians and killed the American, and was himself injured when ISAF force returned fire, was arrested, according to reports from Afghanistan.

The ISAF has opened a probe into the dynamics of the incident, sources with the Italian contingent in Herat told ANSA.

Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa was immediately informed of the incident and issued a statement praising the Italian solders "who despite their injuries promptly returned to duty".

Italy, which commands the ISAF force in western Afghanistan, currently has a contingent of close to 2,800 men in the country and has agreed to deploy another 1,000 next year as part of the troop surge in the new Afghan strategy drawn up by US President Barack Obama.

An additional 200 Carabinieri military police will also be sent in to help train Afghan security forces.

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