KABUL, Afghanistan — Three American military contractors were killed in a shooting on the military side of Kabul’s international airport on Thursday, military officials said.
The precise circumstances of the shooting, which occurred around 6:40 p.m., were murky. The gunman was killed as well, officials said. The motive of the attack was not immediately clear, nor was the identity of the killer, whom officials described only as an Afghan man.
Some news reports said the attacker was an Afghan soldier, or was wearing a security forces uniform. Officials would not confirm those reports, which suggested the attack may have been a new eruption of “green on blue” or insider killings, in which members of the Afghan security forces have turned on Western allies.
Insider killings became so worrisome in recent years that many security rules for shared bases and training missions were tightened. But such attacks ebbed as American troops withdrew from front-line posts, or from the country altogether, over the last year.
It was not the first time an attack targeting the Western troop presence had occurred on the military side of the airport, where much of the Afghan Air Force is based. Nearly four years ago, an Afghan Air Force colonel shot andkilled eight American service members and a contractor before killing himself.
Early on Friday morning, a spokesman for the American-led military coalition in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, said in a statement that “three coalition contractors were killed, as was an Afghan local national.”
An American official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the investigation, said that the three victims were American and that the attacker, an Afghan, had been killed.
Officials would not say what company the victims worked for, or what their jobs were.
In an attack earlier Thursday, in Laghman Province in the east of the country, a suicide attacker detonated explosives amid mourners gathered at the funeral of a local police commander. At least 12 people were killed and several dozen wounded, according to the Laghman authorities.
The police commander had been killed by an improvised explosive device hidden near a bus stop on Thursday morning in Mehtar Lam, the provincial capital, Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the Laghman governor said.