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2 NATO Soldiers Shot Dead By Afghans

Two soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were shot dead in a military base in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Thursday.

Officials of Zhari district said an Afghan literacy trainer opened fire at the soldiers in the morning, while an ISAF statement said "two individuals, one believed to be an Afghan National Army service member and the other in civilian clothing, turned their weapons indiscriminately against International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Force service members."

A third version of the incident, as detailed by an Afghan Army spokesman in Kandahar, said two gunmen initially opened fire on an Afghan sentry manning a security tower before climbing it and shooting at foreign soldiers. He said both the attackers were killed.

A report quoting Zhari Governor Neyaz Mohammad Sarhadi said the "U.S. soldiers fired back and killed the trainer with another army soldier."

ISAF statement deferred "casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities" as per precedence.

Thursday's was the sixth incident this year in Afghanistan of civilians, disguised as Afghan security personnel, or Afghan soldiers themselves targeting ISAF personnel, which together claimed the lives of 11.

The latest incident comes hours within a call by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to take all necessary steps to halt violence and protect ISAF personnel from attacks.

Karzai provided reassurances in this regard during their telephonic conversation on Wednesday.

by RTT Staff Writer

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