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Central & South Asia
Afghan recruit kills Nato trainers
Police trainee killed two Spanish trainers and interpreter, sparking a large protest.
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2010 17:54 GMT
The Afghan National Police have been criticised for ill-discipline and incompetence [AFP]

Two Spanish police trainers and their interpreter have died in Afghanistan after being shot by their driver.

The driver opened fire while the trainers were teaching a class in Badghis province in western Afghanistan. Other officers then killed the driver.

Spanish authorities said the driver had been working with their trainers for around five months.

"I can't say if the Taliban were behind this or not. But what is clear is that it was a premeditated attack," said Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, the Spanish interior minister. "The person who opened fire knew exactly what he was doing."

The dead trainers were identified as Jose Maria Galera Cordoba and Abraham Leoncio Bravo Picallo, both 33 years old. Authorities have not released the name of the translator, reportedly an Iranian-born man with Spanish citizenship.

The trainers were working with a group of 47 Afghan policemen.

'Heart of the problem'

The shooting sparked a large protest outside the camp, with hundreds of people chanting slogans, throwing stones and attempting to storm the Spanish-run base in the provincial capital of Qala-e-Now.

Protesters told the Reuters news agency that the crowd had set fire to one part of the base. One demonstrator, who identified himself as Abdullah, told Reuters that troops inside the base had fired on the protesters.

Mohammad Sadiq, a surgeon at the town's government hospital, said at least 18 wounded people had been brought in for treatment, many suffering from bullet wounds.

Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Kabul, said the shooting "goes to the heart" of the problem confronting coalition forces attempting to rebuild and bring stability to Afghanistan: a huge lack of trust between Nato and Afghans.

"Any kind of little fight could immediately flare up, as we saw today," she said.

The two Spanish policemen were members of their country's Civil Guard, a paramilitary police force similar to Italy's Carabinieri and France's Gendarmerie. Up to 33 Civil Guard officers are deployed in Afghanistan, and the two who were killed Wednesday were scheduled to return home on Friday.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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