A senior U.S. Army soldier was killed along with a couple of majors by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan, and three special operation forces soldiers were gunned down by an Afghan commander who had won their trust and invited them to dinner.
The suicide bomber struck Wednesday as a group of U.S. military and civilian officials from the 4th brigade, 4th Infantry Division were in Sarkowi in Kunar Province, which is located in eastern Afghanistan. The suicide attacker detonated an explosive vest near the group.
Killed in the attack were Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, Wyo., the brigade's senior enlisted soldier. As a command sergeant major, Griffin was one of the brigade's senior leaders and provided leadership and guidance to the 4,000 man brigade.
Also killed in the blast were Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y., and Air Force Major Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga. Gray was an air liaison officer and flight commander attached to the brigade.
The brigade is tasked with providing security in three provinces that border Pakistan. Based in Fort Carson, Colo., the brigade arrived in Afghanistan this past April.
The explosion also killed American USAID Foreign Service Officer Ragaei Abdelfattah. Another American foreign service officer and an Afghan civilian were also injured in the attack.
In a statement released Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Abdelfattah's work in eastern Afghanistan over the last year as "critical to our efforts to support Afghanistan's political, economic and security transitions and was an example of the highest standards of service." She said he was so committed to his mission that he had volunteered to serve a second year-long tour in Afghanistan.
The second incident was what is described as a "Green on Blue" attack where coalition forces are attacked by Afghan Security Forces. Friday's attack brings to 25 the number of such attacks that have taken place this year and have resulted in 31 deaths. The number of Green on Blue attacks this year has already surpassed the 21 that occurred last year.
A coalition spokesman says the three killed service members were killed at their outpost in Sarwan Qala in the Sangin District of Helmand Province. The American military members mentored and trained local security forces out of their outpost.
The exact details of the shooting incident remain unclear, but the spokesman says that shortly after 1am an Afghan male dressed in an Afghan National Security Force uniform the shooter opened fire on the American military members.
Contrary to reports by the Taliban that the gunman was able to escape and join their ranks, a coalition spokesman says the shooter was quickly detained and is in ISAF custody.
Afghan sources had said earlier that the shooting had occurred during a late meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast. The coalition spokesman could not confirm those details.
In an earlier version of this story, ABC News incorrectly reported that the commander of the 4th Brigade was seriously wounded in the suicide bombing.The commander was not injured.