PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan — German soldiers, just back from patrol, had already started shedding their heavy body armor when shots rang out Friday at their coalition base in northern Afghanistan. An Afghan soldier, a man they thought was on their side, was spraying them with bullets at close range.
The shooter was gunned down, but not before he killed three German soldiers and wounded six others in a tragic shooting that highlights the challenges of trying to train Afghan security forces so foreign troops can go home.
The Afghan soldier in Baghlan's provincial capital, Pul-e-Khumri, was part of a joint operation between the German and Afghan militaries, Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told reporters in Berlin.
"Working together carries risks," said Guttenberg, who earlier this week spent the night with German troops at the base in northeast Afghanistan. "Still, this attack may not lead to questioning the partnering (with the Afghan army) that has so far been successful because this would only serve our enemies."