Afghan employee blamed in CIA shootings

Sept. 26, 2011 at 7:21 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- An attack that killed an American and wounded another at the CIA station in Kabul, Afghanistan, was blamed on an Afghan employee, officials said Monday.

The gunman was killed, U.S. Embassy spokesman Gavin A. Sundwall said.

Sundwall said the the gunman attacked Sunday night inside the embassy annex compound, The Washington Post reported.

Afghan and Western security forces said the annex was used by the CIA, the report said.

A motive for the attack was not immediately clear. Sundwall said investigators believe the gunman acted alone.

Sundwall said the wounded American was being treated at a military hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, the Post reported.

There was no additional information on the American who died. Embassy operations had resumed.

The Post quoted another official as saying the the American victims may have been "at the wrong place at the wrong time" and may not have been specifically targeted. He said the attack ended quickly and that embassy security personnel had cleared the rest of the compound.

"We mourn the loss of life in the incident as we mourn the loss of all life," Sundwall said.

The incident followed two similar recent high-profile attacks by insurgents and came as U.S. and coalition began their process of drawing down their troops and handing over security responsibilities for Afghanistan to the country's own forces.

On Sept. 13, the Afghan capital witnessed a day-long standoff after militants attacked the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters. That incident ended after security forces killed all the attackers. U.S. officials blamed the attack on the violent Haqqani network, which they say has safe haven in Pakistan and enjoys the support of the Pakistani spy agency.

Last week, a suicide bomber hiding a bomb in his turban killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who had headed the High Peace Council, which is trying to negotiate peace with the Taliban.

The attacks have raised concern because they show the militants are able to break through even the tightest security in the Afghan capital, observers said.

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