KABUL, Afghanistan — In the early afternoon of Nov. 29 at an outpost high in the mountains along the Pakistan border, an Afghan border policeman well thought of by his superiors suddenly opened fire on American soldiers, killing six.
The Taliban rushed to take responsibility for the attack, claiming the gunman was a sleeper agent planted to kill NATO soldiers. The Afghan police and military scrambled to find ways to root out insurgents lurking within their ranks. Screening of new recruits and soldiers intensified.
But when a joint inquiry was completed sometime later, Afghan and American investigators concluded that the gunman, a man named Ezzatullah from a small village in Nangarhar Province, where the attack occurred, was not a sleeper agent at all but a good soldier overcome by personal stress, including his father’s insistence that he accept a marriage contract with a young girl.
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