Three killed by renegade soldier in Mazar-i-Sharif

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Two US civilians and an Afghan soldier were killed yesterday in a shooting by another Afghan soldier at a weapons training area in the north of the country.

Afghan and Nato forces were still investigating the circumstances around the incident, which also resulted in the death of the suspected shooter and the wounding of a foreign service member and an Afghan soldier, the US military said.

Earlier, provincial sources said a renegade Afghan, serving with government security forces, had killed two members of the Nato-led force.

The incident occurred at a military training camp near the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the US military said, adding the suspect was "thought to be an Afghan army trainer".

"A joint... investigation is under way to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting by an Afghan army soldier that led to the death and injury of several individuals," it said.

The incident comes a week after a renegade soldier killed three members of a British Gurkha regiment, including a major, before escaping.

The rapid creation of a national army and police force in Afghanistan since the Taliban's ousting in 2001 has seen tens of thousands of Afghans join the security forces, and there are fears that Taliban insurgents – or sympathisers at least – may also have signed up.