American troops opened fire after an "enemyinsider" shot and killed an Afghan commander in central Afghanistan onWednesday, officials said, in yet another deadly Taliban-claimed infiltration.
According to the Afghan defence ministry, Colonel MateenMujtaba, who headed the 3rd army division in Ghazni province, was conducting asecurity assessment in Qarabagh district when an Afghan soldier startedshooting.
Mateen was "killed by an army soldier who was in factan enemy insider," the defence ministry said in a statement.
"The attacker was also killed when soldiers returnedfire." The Taliban claimed the attack, saying US soldiers had also beenkilled.
Resolute Support, the US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan,said no US or coalition troops had been killed or wounded, but declined tocomment further.
According to Amanullah Kamrani, a member of the Ghazniprovincial council, Mateen was boarding a helicopter after a meeting with USadvisors when he was attacked.
"The attacker was killed when Americans returnedfire," Kamrani told AFP.
Insider attacks, sometimes referred to as "green ongreen," are a constant threat in Afghanistan.
In October, powerful police chief General Abdul Raziq wasamong three people killed in a brazen insider attack on a high-level securitymeeting in Kandahar.
The meeting was also attended by General Scott Miller, thetop US and NATO commander in Afghanistan. He escaped unhurt, but US BrigadierGeneral Jeffrey Smiley was among 13
people wounded in the shooting, which the Taliban said hadtargeted Miller and Raziq.