Update: An Albanian soldier was killed, and three other troops were injured, including two Albanians and an American, according to the provincial government in Kandahar, where the shooting took place.
Winnipeg Free Press February 20, 2012
TIRANA, Albania – Suspected Afghan police opened fire on Albanian and other foreign troops in the war-wracked country’s south Monday, killing two Albanian soldiers and prompting the arrest of 11 Afghan policemen, authorities said.
The deaths were the first for Albanian troops in Afghanistan. Another international soldier was wounded.
The shootings appeared to be the latest in a growing number of attacks by Afghan police or army soldiers on foreign forces, a trend that has raised concerns about the vetting of Afghan recruits and threatened the international military commitment to the country. Last month, France suspended its training program and warned it may withdraw its forces a year ahead of schedule after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers.
Monday’s shooting occurred in the village of Robat, in the southern district of Spin Boldak near the Pakistani border, Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq said. The troops were accompanying a USAID team for a meeting about opening two schools and a health cente, Albania’s defence ministry said.
Amy Oliver, public affairs director of the Air Force 1st Special Operations Wing, said the single-engine, fixed-wing U-28A was returning from a mission in support of the Afghanistan war.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The four killed in the crash included
Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the 319th Special Operations Squadron
Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Georgia, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron;
1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Oregon, with the 34th Special Operations Squadron; and
Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with the 25th Intelligence Squadron.
Hall was a U-28 pilot with more than 1,300 combat flight hours. He was assigned to the 319th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla
UPI Djibouti February 20, 2012
The US Department of Defense announced that four U.S. servicemen died in the crash of a U-28 aircraft in Djibouti.
The crash occurred approximately 8 p.m., Saturday, roughly 6 miles from the Djibouti International Airport near Camp Lemonnier. All four U.S. Air Force servicemen were from the Hurlburt Field in Florida, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a release Monday.
Three of the victims — two captains and a first lieutenant — were with the Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt. The other was a senior airman with the 25th Intelligence Squadron.
The incident has cast a spotlight on AFRICOM’s Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion base.
The AFRICOM Web site stated a safety board investigation has been initiated to determine the cause of the accident. Initial reports said there was word the aircraft developed technical problems during a routine flight.
JEM spokesman says peacekeepers “entered our territory without permission”, accompanied by Sudanese security personnel.
AlJazerra February 20, 2012
A major anti-government group in Sudan’s Darfur region has said it is holding at least 49 international UN peacekeepers, mainly from Senegal.
A spokesman for the group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), made the announcement on Monday.
“We are holding the UNAMID soldiers because they entered our territory without permission and because they were accompanied by three Sudanese we suspect work for the security services,” the spokesman said.