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U.S. Army general assassinated by suspected Afghan terrorist

A suspected terrorist dressed as an Afghan soldier on Tuesday turned his rifle on U.S.-led coalition soldiers at a commissioned and non-commissioned officers’ academy, assassinating an American Army general, according to the Pentagon. About 15 other coalition force members, including a general from the German Army, were wounded.

The well-liked Gen. Greene saying farewell to his Sergeant Major, John Poff.
The well-liked Gen. Greene saying farewell to his Sergeant Major, John Poff.
Courtesy of U.S. Army

Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who served as the deputy commanding officer of the Combined Security Transition Command (CSTC), was preparing for when U.S. coalition-led combat troops leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and was on an inspection tour of the training academy that's preparing sergeants and lieutenants to take over all military operations against the Taliban and other Islamist combatants.

Gen. Greene is the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed in an attack since Sept. 11, 2001, when Army Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude was killed in the Pentagon when a commercial airliner commandeered by al-Qaida terrorists intentionally crashed into the military headquarters.

The Pentagon press secretary, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, told reporters during his Tuesday briefing that the killer is believed to be an Afghan soldier who sympathized with the Islamist terrorists and that he launched his one-man ambush during Gen. Greene's site to the Marshal Fahim National Defense University.

German government officials said in a news release that at least 15 ISAF members were wounded and "the wounded German general, who is not in a critical condition, is receiving medical treatment. His relatives were informed."

Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi, the public affairs officer for the nation's Defense Ministry, claims that a male Afghan in an army uniform opened fire on the two generals and other coalition members and that the assailant was shot dead.

The officers’ academy, which opened in the fall of 2013, is reportedly a well-equipped and staffed training facility created to develop more professional and educated Afghan military officers. British instructors are expected to remain behind when the United States and coalition troops leave at the end of 2014.

The previous so-called “green-on-blue attacks," in which Afghan soldiers and police attacked members of the U.S. and other foreign forces, occurred in 2012. Those attacks left more than 50 dead.