Kabul, Afghanistan – Breaking reporting out of Kabul today are confirming that an Afghan police officer opened fire at the airport which struck an unarmed crowd of passengers at a security checkpoint within the Kabul International Airport. Afghan police authorities are also confirming the death of one passenger from Uganda along with several more wounded during the gunfire. The Afghan police officer is being identified as a one Khan Agha from ‘Unit 4’ of the U.S. trained Afghan Border Police which is responsible for security at Afghanistan’s airports.
Security was stepped up in recent days at Kabul’s International Airport ahead of the arrival of the controversial Afghan warlord Faryadi Sarwar Zardad also known as Zardad Khan. A former Mujahideen commander Zardad Khan made a name for himself fighting the Soviets in and around Jalalabad, but Zardad’s real gift was kidnapping, extortion, torture and eventual killing of foreigners in the mid to late 1990’s. He fled Afghanistan to the United Kingdom towards the end of 1998 to avoid a death sentence imposed on him by the Taliban and opened a pizza shop in rural England. There he was tracked down by the Scotland Yard and eventually arrested by British authorities. He was then tried and sentenced to 20 years in an English prison for his torture and kidnapping exploits in Afghanistan in 2005.
Zardad Khan was to arrive at the Kabul airport today after the British deported him after serving the majority of his 20 years sentence. Afghan police increased security at the airport as a large group of armed Zardad Khan supporters along with some of his fellow warlords began showing up and lining the street along the airports main road to celebrate his release and welcome the warlord home.
The motives of this shooting are quite unclear and not known if the police officer, Khan Agha was acting on a perceived threat from the crowd of supporters that may or may not have fired weapons in the air to celebrate the arrival of Zardad Khan, or was a plant himself to open fire and kill as many unarmed civilians as possible. What is known, however is that one person is dead with 6 wounded. All traffic, both air and land, to the Kabul airport have been shut down and a full investigation by Afghan police authorities is said to be under way.
Feature Photo: NBC News