‘Insider attack’ killings continue in Afghanistan
KABULA U.S. soldier was killed at an Afghan police checkpoint March 26 in the latest “insider attack” by local security forces, a U.S. military official said. The assault in eastern Afghanistan was the second shooting incident of the day involving Afghans opening fire on their NATO-led allies, with two British soldiers shot dead in the southern province of Helmand. The attacks brought the death toll to 16 this year for such incidents.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force reported an attack in Paktika province with “an alleged member of the Afghan local police” firing on coalition forces as they approached a police checkpoint, killing an ISAF service member. A US military official in Washington confirmed the dead soldier was an American.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said March 26 that the killing of U.S. and NATO troops by Afghans are sporadic incidents and do not represent a trend that should derail ongoing negotiations with the Afghan government on night raid operations and other issues.
Panetta said the attacks, including two separate incidents March 26 that killed two British troops and one American, should not detract from the highly sensitive discussions about how the U.S. should coordinate with the Afghans on military raids into Afghan homes. Panetta said the so-called green-on-blue attacks, in which Afghans kill U.S. or coalition troops, should not erode the trust between the two nations, or detract from the main strategy, which is to transfer control of security to the Afghans.