Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan
KABUL - The Associated Press
A British soldier of the Royal Marines Commandos stands near Chinook helicopters at the Bagram air base north of Kabul. REUTERS photoA man in an Afghan army uniform shot and killed two British soldiers yesterday inside a NATO base in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
The attack appeared to be the latest in a string of so-called “green on blue” attacks in which Afghan security forces have turned on their international colleagues or mentors. Such attacks have become increasingly common over the past year, particularly since the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February. Six U.S. soldiers were killed in apparent revenge attacks following that act, which also sparked riots that left dozens of Afghans dead. U.S. officials have said the religious materials were burned by mistake. The U.S.-led coalition said in a statement that an individual wearing an Afghan soldier’s uniform turned his weapon against international troops. NATO forces then returned fire. “The gunman was shot and killed,” said coalition spokesman Maj. Jason Waggoner. Yesterday’s attack also comes two weeks after a U.S. soldier went on a pre-dawn shooting rampage in neighboring Kandahar province, killing 17 people and wounding six.
Since 2007, Afghan security force attacks on coalition troops have resulted in the deaths of more than 75 NATO service members and the wounding of more than 110 others, according to the Pentagon. More than 75 percent of the attacks have occurred in the past two years. A Western official in southern Afghanistan confirmed that the incident happened at the main NATO base in Lashkar Gah, Helmand province.