WASHINGTON – A U.S. Army major general was killed in an attack at an Afghan military base in Kabul on Tuesday, according to a defense official who asked not to be named.
If confirmed, that would be the highest ranking American officer to be killed in the war in Afghanistan.
A defense official confirmed the information on the condition he not be named since the family had not been fully notified yet.
Coalition headquarters in Kabul would confirm only that one coalition servicemen was killed in an attack. The coalition headquarters did not detail the circumstances of the attack.
The shooting took place at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul.
Insider attacks, in which Afghan soldiers shoot coalition partners, had increased a couple years ago, but recently had declined dramatically.
Insider attacks on U.S. and coalition troops by Afghans had increased since 2007 and had emerged as a serious threat by 2012. Attackers that year killed 62 coalition troops.
The top commander at the time, Marine Gen. John Allen, branded the attacks his top strategic threat. Allen instituted a number of changes to reduce the threat, including the use of "guardian angels," requiring troops to operate in pairs or groups and keep an eye out for potential attackers.
Coalition and Afghan officials also enhanced screening of police and army recruits, requiring, for instance, biometric screening and letters vouching for their loyalty by village and tribal elders. The threat has subsided in recent years, coinciding with the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
However, they still occur. In February, two Army special forces soldiers were killed by gunmen wearing Afghan uniforms.