Afghan Police Officer Kills Two American Soldiers
Another “Green On Blue” incident has resulted in the two more Americans dead at the hands of an Afghan police officer:
(CBS News) LONDON – Two U.S. troops were killed in the western Afghan province of Farah when an Afghan Local Police officer turned his gun on them, one of two so-called green-on-blue attacks to hit NATO forces Friday amid a dramatic escalation of the incidents during the last year.
The police officer was shot and killed, according to NATO, which said an investigation was underway. Local sources told the Associated Press that the shooter had been recruited to the Afghan Local Police – a network of regional militias backed by the international military alliance and trained largely by NATO forces – just five days ago.
In the second attack on Friday, a member of the Afghan security forces shot and wounded three foreign troops in the southern Kandahar province, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz tells CBS News reporter Kitty Logan. Katz said the shooter was in custody, but could provide no further details on the incident.
With Friday’s attacks, Afghan security forces working in partnership with Western troops have now turned weapons on their allies 31 times in 2012. At least 39 coalition forces have been killed in green-on-blue attacks this year, according to NATO, including 23 Americans.
The Tabliban have started to claim credit for the attacks:
The shooting comes one day after a statement released by the head of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar, claiming that militants had successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces to carry out such attacks.
“Thanks to the infiltration of the Mujahideen (holy warriors), they are able to (safely) enter bases, offices and intelligence centers of the enemy,” claimed Omar in the statement, released to mark the Islamic holiday of Eid al Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Taliban often claim responsibility for green-on-blue attacks, but the U.S. Defense Department maintains the attacks are not generally not carried out by insurgents, but rather individual members of the Afghan security forces who may develop a grudge against their Western allies.
One some level, of course, it doesn’t really matter if these attacks are being done by Taliban insurgents who have infiltrated Afghan security forces, or if these are generally one-off attacks by people resentful of the foreign presence for one reason or another. The soldiers are still dead, and the distrust between Coalition and Afghan forces continues to increase. So, whether the Taliban is doing this or not, it’s all working to their advantage.