A British soldier was shot to death when a man believed to be a member of the Afghan National Army turned his weapon on foreign troops and his Afghan colleagues in a restive southern province, officials said Tuesday.
Monday’s attack appeared to be the latest in a rash of insider killings that has eroded trust between Afghan troops and their foreign mentors as the country prepares for the withdrawal of most international forces in 2014.
It came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other top Afghan officials were en route to Washington for a meeting Friday with President Barack Obama to discuss future military, political and economic cooperation.
The attack happened at a patrol base in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, according to a statement from the British defense ministry. The victim was identified as a soldier from 28 Engineer Regiment.
“This is an extremely sad day for the Corps of Royal Engineers and everyone serving with Task Force Helmand,” said Maj. Laurence Roche, a task force spokesman. “Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this time.”
British officials declined to provide further details, saying they were giving the dead soldier’s family a 24-hour grace period.