This morning we had our first major war casualty in several weeks. The action occurred at a nearby village which is remarkable because the most recent casualties in mid January were from the outer edges of our AOR (Area of Responsibility) at the Pakistan border.
An Afghani officer with the NDS (National Directorate of Security), their equivalent of the FBI, was shot. One of the DOD civilians told us the story. The man was on his way to work in the village and decided to take a rickshaw-type taxi. He was dressed in his uniform. The taxi stopped along the way to pick up three other riders. The riders were Taliban in disguise. After about fifteen minutes, one of the insurgents pulled a gun and the shot the officer in the head at point blank range. He was not killed instantly. The driver then claimed that he was forced to continue driving at gunpoint to some unknown destination where presumably the Taliban intended to take their victim. However, they encountered an ANA force at which point the Taliban abandoned the taxi and fled. Frankly it sounded like a planned ambushed to me.
The NDS agents are as close to reliable as any Afghani government agency gets. He was definitely one of the 'good guys' as much as anyone is within the realities of the current system. I asked the DOD worker who related the story if this meant the winter 'break' was over. "Seems like it to me. We know there are at least three of them loose out there."
He arrived at the FST completely unresponsive with profuse bleeding from his wound. His vital signs were decent except that he was profoundly hypothermic with a body temperature of 88F. The code went well but the patient deteriorated. With wound packing, blood products, and maneuvers to limit brain edema, we managed to stabilize him enough to allow transport to the hospital at KAF. He died later in the day of his wounds.