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NATO says U.S. troops were armed when Afghan pilot killed them

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 30, 2011

The eight American troops killed by an Afghan pilot Wednesday at an airport in Kabul were armed with "weapons and ammunition," according to preliminary investigation findings released by NATO officials in an effort to correct inaccuracy news media reports.

"All the U.S. servicemembers, in accordance with our NATO training mission guidance, did have their personal weapons and in fact did have them loaded with magazines inside of their weapons," Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, head of the NATO training mission to Afghanistan, told a military bloggers conference on Saturday.

The gunman also killed a U.S. contractor in the shooting.

"In addition, initial ballistics analysis and post-event imagery indicate that the alleged gunman, who appeared to be acting alone, was severely wounded prior to departing the room where the initial attack took place," reads a portion of the release from International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. "Initial reports also indicate the gunman appeared to be carrying two weapons. The gunman was later found dead at a different location within the building."

The Afghan pilot has been identified as Ahmad Gul, 50. The shooting is the worst on U.S. forces by supposed friendly troops in the entire Afghan war.

All nine Americans were killed in the room where the shooting occurred.
According to ISAF's statement, at the preliminary point in the investigation, it appears the gunman was acting alone. “[N]o Taliban connection with the gunman has been discovered; however, the investigation is still ongoing, and we have not conclusively ruled out that possibility,” the statement reads.

A Taliban spokesperson claimed that the attack was carried out by his group and the gunman involved was a Taliban agent in the ANA uniform, according to The Associated Press.

The gunman was severely wounded before leaving the room where the initial attack took place, according to ISAF’s statement, and was found dead in a different part of the building at the military section of the Kabul International Airport, ISAF said.

From staff reports

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