- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The killing of three American aircraft mechanics at the Kabul airport was done by a man in an Afghan uniform who was killed at the scene of the shooting, the Pentagon said Friday.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the mechanics were Defense Department contractors, but the circumstances of the attack are under investigation.

“I’m really not at liberty to discuss much in terms of detail, either to the motivation or identification of the shooter. It’s our understanding though, that the assailant was killed in the midst of the attack,” Kirby said.

The spokesman expressed sympathy for the families of the victims and said the shootings are “a tragic and grim reminder that Afghanistan still remains a dangerous place in many ways.”

The U.S. has 10,600 troops training and advising Afghan forces but the U.S. combat role ended last month.

In Afghanistan on Friday, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, identified the attacker as Hessanullha from Laghman province. He said the Taliban fighter had infiltrated the ranks of Afghan forces to stage the attack and wore an Afghan police uniform.

Kirby said he could not confirm or deny that the Taliban played a role in the attack.


Associated Press writers Robert Burns in Washington and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.

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