A 24-year-old intelligence female officer with the US military has been identified as one of two Americans killed in Afghanistan over the weekend in an apparent suicide bombing in Kandahar province.
Army Specialist Brittany B. Gordon is being considered the latest addition on a list of only 22 American women fatally wounded in Afghanistan since Operation Enduring Freedom began over 11 years ago. She was pronounced dead on October 13 as a result of wounds she suffered after an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated near an intelligence office in the remote Maruf district, Afghan officials tell the Tampa Bay Times.
“It is not one that was planted as a mine. The person was wearing a suicide vest. This is also considered an IED,” US Rep. C.W. Bill Young, a lawmaker on the House of Representatives defense appropriations subcommittee, tells the Times. “It was an inside job.”
Reports suggest that the assailant was wearing the explosives beneath an intelligence service uniform when a delegation that included US coalition members was delivering furniture to an office in Maruf over the weekend.
Sources speaking to the Times say the suicide bomber is thought to have been targeting local agents with the National Directorate of Security, an Afghan intelligence service, and that the American casualties are the result of collateral damage.
Another American, identified so far only as an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was also killed in the blast, along with four Afghan officials.
“The man believed he was attacking the NDS delegation; he probably was not aware of the foreign soldiers coming with them,” Maruf district chief Haji Malim Toorylai says.
Mr. Toorylai adds to reporters that the culprit behind the blast was Abdul Wali, a native of a nearby village. Hours after the attack, the brother of one of the Afghani victims reportedly killed the 9-year-old sibling of the assailant.