Afghan shooting of Spaniards 'terrorist attack': minister

25th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The shootout which killed two Spanish paramilitary policemen and a Spanish interpreter in Afghanistan was a "terrorist attack," Spain's interior minister said Wednesday.

"I can't say whether the Taliban was behind it or not, (but) what is clear is that it was a premeditated attack..., it was a terrorist attack," the minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, told a news conference.

He said the government was trying to find out "who ordered it."

The two officers from Spain's Civil Guard police force and a Spanish interpreter were killed during a training session at the Spanish base in the northwestern province of Badghis, Afghan and Spanish authorities said.

Rubalcaba said the assailant, who was shot dead by members of the Civil Guard, was an Afghan policeman who worked as the driver for one of the officers he killed.

He said the interpreter was "a Spaniard of Iranian origin."

Following the attack, hundreds of Afghans then tried to storm the Spanish-run base in protest at the killing of the local officer, in a protest that left three youths injured, a local Afghan police official said.

Spain currently has 1,555 troops serving in ISAF, according to the ISAF website, part of a 141,000-strong US-led NATO force deployed in Afghanistan to battle a Taliban-led insurgency nearing the end of its ninth year.

The Spanish contingent runs a US-led civil-military operation known as a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the poverty-striken province.

© 2010 AFP

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