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Suspected Afghan army trainer kills 2 Americans, soldier

KABUL - A suspected Afghan army trainer on a shooting range in northern Afghanistan opened fire on his fellow instructors yesterday, killing two American civilian trainers and an Afghan soldier before being killed himself, NATO officials said.

On a day when world diplomats gathered in Kabul for an international conference intended to further a transition to Afghan security responsibility, the violence showed the risks and setbacks that can come with a rapid expansion of Afghan military forces. The shooting, at a weapons training base near the city of Mazar-e Sharif, comes a week after another rogue Afghan soldier killed three British soldiers at a base in Helmand province.

NATO officials said they had started a joint investigation into the incident with the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

The shooting, which also wounded a NATO soldier and one other Afghan soldier, took place on a range as part of a weapons proficiency class at the Regional Military Training Center's eight-week Afghan army basic training course at Camp Shaheen. Across the country, 20,000 Afghan National Army trainees are involved in such a course, NATO officials said.

The international conferees, meanwhile, agreed yesterday on a road map for Afghan forces to take the lead in securing the nation by 2014 amid doubts that they would meet the first goal - for the Afghans to assume control in certain areas by the end of the year.

At the one-day conference in a locked-down Afghan capital, President Hamid Karzai said he was determined that his soldiers and police would be responsible for all enforcement operations by 2014. More than 40 foreign ministers and dignitaries, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, attended. With AP

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