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Thursday
May162013

Insider Attacks Drop in Afghanistan

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Last year at this time, there was an alarming rise of "insider attacks" in Afghanistan as supposed Afghan allies turned their weapons on coalition forces, particularly U.S. troops.

By the end of May in 2012, 34 U.S. and NATO soldiers had been killed by Afghan security forces or those dressed in their uniforms.  Through the first four-and-a-half months of this year, six coalition forces have died as the result of insider attacks.

There are a number of factors responsible for the steep decline, not the least of which is the Afghan government installing hundreds of counterintelligence officers in their army to keep close watch on any soldiers expressing sentiment against coalition allies, which often occurs after they've come back from an extended leave.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is providing security for its own forces with so-called "guardian angels" -- American soldiers who are responsible for protecting U.S. troops training and accompanying Afghan forces taking the lead in fighting the Taliban.

Along with improving counterintelligence capabilities, the military has also boosted cultural sensitivity training among its troops to help avoid incidents such as the unintentional Quran burnings at Bagram Air Base last year that led to deadly riots throughout Afghanistan.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio