What We Know about Rafiqullah – Afghan Gunman Who Killed U.S. General
By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 7, 2014 4:33 PM EST
Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene was killed in Afghanistan after an Afghan gunman opened fire at a Kabul training facility on Tuesday, August 5. Greene happens to be the highest-ranked U.S. officer to have been killed overseas since the Vietnam war in 1970. The two-star officer was killed in random firing as Rafiqullah, the gunman who killed him, was shot dead as well. Here is what we know so far about the Afghan gunman.
A boy holding a toy pistol stands a cage containing chickens for sale near the venue of an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan March 19, 2014. The Afghan presidential elections will be held on April 5.
He Used a NATO Rifle
The rifle Rafiqullah used to kill Greene was issued by NATO. He was among others who went for a patrol near the greater Camp Qargha situated to the west of Kabul. On their return, other people surrendered their rifles but Rafiqullah did not. He managed to hide in a bathroom with his rifle. He used the rifle later to open fire randomly on officers.
He Served Afghan Army
According to an Afghan army official, Rafiqullah served the Afghan army for three years. Even though he was initially called a "terrorist in army uniform," he was later known to have served the army for a few years. There still lies a mystery why he randomly attacked the U.S. officers. However, serving in the army for three years before doing what he did seems to be a well-thought-of plan.
He Injured 15 Others
Even though the most significant effect of his attack was the death of a senior general, he also managed to injure 15 others. Most of those were from the United States. In addition, there was a German brigadier and some Afghan officers as well.
He May Have Anti-U.S. Background
Rafiqullah was originally from the eastern Paktia province in Afghanistan. The region is known for anti-American propagandas. Earlier in April 2013, hundreds of Afghan people held an anti-U.S. rally in Paktia after an influential tribal leader had been killed by U.S. troops. Taliban activists are reportedly quite active in the region as well.
Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au
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