A man hired to provide security at a military base in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, attacked a group of soldiers over the weekend, killing two and wounding four others, NBC News has learned.
The man, named Shir Ahmad, worked for Tundra Security Group and had been hired March 9 to provide security at Forward Operating Base Frontenac in Argandab Valley. Ten days later, on Saturday, he allegedly walked up to a group of soldiers who were cleaning their weapons before a combat patrol and opened fire with an AK-47.
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Three other U.S. soldiers responded to the gunshots and returned fire and killed Ahmad, but not before he shot six soldiers, officials told NBC News.
Two of the soldiers, 29-year-old Cpl. Donald R. Mickler Jr. of Bucyrus, Ohio, and 19-year-old Pfc. Rudy A. Acosta, of Canyon Country, Calif., were killed.
The soldiers were all assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany.
In a news release, the Department of Defense said the deaths occurred in Kandahar province by "small arms fire by an individual from a military security group."
The slayings bring to nine the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed by rogue Afghan security force members, whether uniformed or private security contractors, in the past two months.
Tundra Security is an Afghan-owned security company that provides physical security services to local and foreign government organizations throughout Afghanistan, according to the company's website. Tundra SCA is a sister company of Tundra Strategies and is licensed to operate as an armed security provider by the Afghan Ministry of Interior.
As of March 16, at least 1,399 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S. invasion in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
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