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Soldier who killed US general spent 3 years in Afghan army

Published on Aug 7, 2014 12:08 AM
An Afghan National Army soldier searches passengers at a checkpoint near the Marshal Fahim National Defence University, a training complex on the outskirts of Kabul on August 6, 2014 where an Afghan opened fire on a high-ranking delegation on Tuesday, killing US Major-General Harold Greene. Greene was the most senior US military official killed in action overseas since the war in Vietnam. -- PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (REUTERS) - The Afghan who opened fire on a high-ranking delegation visiting a military complex in Kabul, killing US Major-General Harold Greene, had served in the army for three years, an Afghan defence official said on Wednesday.

In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday's attack, the Defence Ministry had described the gunman, who was also killed, as a "terrorist in army uniform", indicating its belief he was an Islamist militant who had infiltrated the army from outside.

While details about the identity of the soldier and his motivation remain sketchy, the fact that he had spent so long in the army before turning on fellow soldiers is likely to be a major line of inquiry in an investigation launched on Wednesday.

"What motivated the shooting is still under investigation, but the shooter was an army soldier, not a terrorist from outside the base," said the official.

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