Entries in Afghan National Police (7)


Afghan Attacks on NATO Troops Tied to Stress, Fatigue

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Deadly attacks on coalition soldiers by their supposed Afghan allies seem to be on the rise in 2012, with seven American troops killed last week alone.

While these so-called "green on blue" assaults -- referring to the color of the soldiers' uniforms -- are detrimental to the NATO mission of transferring full security responsibilities to Afghan security forces by 2014, the coalition doesn't believe they'll spread to the point of being crippling.

NATO spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz says the likely reason they're happening is not because of overall dissatisfaction with the coalition effort but more likely due to "personal grievances, by stress situation, or by battle fatigue."

Katz acknowledged that the 27 attacks this year that have led to 34 fatalities -- the majority of them American -- are tragic, but he said taken in the context of 500,000 Afghan soldiers and police, "green on blue" incidents are still very rare.

He also dismissed a Taliban claim that it's the group's infiltrators who are mainly responsible for the assaults, saying only a few of the incidents can be directly tied to Taliban members who've disguised themselves as government soldiers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top Coalition General Touts Progress of Afghan Security Forces

Department of Defense/Pfc. Jorge A. Ortiz, U.S. Marine Corps(WASHINGTON) -- A top military commander in Afghanistan says he and others are seeing positive results from the International Security Assistance Force's growing partnership with the Afghan army and police.

Speaking via video link to Pentagon reporters on Wednesday, British Lt. Gen. Adrian J. Bradshaw boasted of "Afghan national security forces increasing in strength, capability and confidence" due to the joint operation with ISAF troops.

Bradshaw claimed that Afghan army and police are now more equipped to lead and carry out sophisticated, brigade-level missions against the Taliban and Haqqani network, an important function as the U.S. and NATO take more of a backseat in day-to-day military duties.

The general said of the national forces, "They have surprised us, and I think they've surprised themselves, with how well they've performed in a whole range of different sorts of operations across the theater."

On the other hand, Bradshaw says that the Taliban is operating with less equipment, weapons and money, which has reversed the momentum they'd enjoyed until last year.

Nevertheless, Bradshaw warned that achieving a total military victory is probably not pragmatic because of how the Taliban and its allies can take sanctuary in Pakistan.

Therefore, Bradshaw said the answer is "a combination of military, economic, political and other measures anyway to effect a total elimination of this problem."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Police Officers Poisoned, Ambushed by Insurgents

REZA SHIRMOHAMMADI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least four Afghan National Police officers and two civilians were killed Tuesday when a police station in southern Afghanistan came under attack by insurgents.

The incident took place in the Nahre Saraj district of Helmand province, according to a spokesperson for the provincial governor.  Insurgents ambushed the officers at the checkpoint after poisoning their food. 

Along with the six fatalities, two cops were injured and three others are missing.  Some of the attackers were also said to have been killed when police fired back.

An investigation team has been sent out to the area to find out more.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghan Security Transition Continues in Mehterlam

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(MEHTERLAM, Afghanistan) -- In a ceremony kept secret from the public, the United States on Tuesday officially handed over security of Mehterlam to Afghan security forces.

Police feared the event would be attacked, so they shut down the area completely.  The normally busy provincial capital of more than 100,000 became a ghost town.  The only vehicles that allowed in were American armored trucks and Ford Rangers belonging to the Afghan army and police.

The United States' slow withdrawal from Afghanistan is dependent on cities like Mehterlam being able to secure themselves.  Already, some U.S. soldiers have been withdrawn from Laghman province, of which Mehterlam is the capital.

But Afghan President Hamid Karzai's aides fear Mehterlam is the most fragile of the seven areas earmarked for transition this week.  And -- while it's not a universal sentiment -- many Afghan and U.S. officials in the city say that the police are so badly under-equipped and the justice system is so corrupt, there is no guarantee the Afghans can provide rule of law themselves.

ABC News spent five days in Mehterlam ahead of Tuesday's transition ceremony, speaking with dozens of Afghan and American officials, including Afghan police and army commanders and American officers based in the Provincial Reconstruction Team base inside the city.

The police, which have primarily responsibility for security of the city, are motivated but outmatched.  There are only a few dozen officers patrolling the city.  That would be like asking the New Orleans Police Department to maintain security with fewer than 100 cops -- and they don't have to worry about militants coming in from Pakistan, which according to Afghan officials is the main threat here.

Mehterlam police do not patrol with armored trucks, even though they are sometimes targeted with improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.  And they do not have bulletproof vests they can wear over their uniforms, even though they have asked their government for them.

Their shortcomings are compounded by endemic corruption that Afghan and U.S. officials admit runs through the justice system.  Police commanders complain that even when they do make arrests, there is no guarantee the arrested will be punished or remain in prison.

Criminals and insurgents have managed to buy or threaten their way to freedom, according to two Afghan officials and two U.S. officials working in Mehterlam.  Even the son of a Taliban commander was freed, according to the Afghan officials, after his father paid or threatened -- or both -- judges who were supposed to sentence him.

Some Afghan and U.S. officials based in Mehterlam suggest that picture is too negative.  They admit the police and justice system are far from perfect, but they have made positive strides.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NATO Begins Security Transfer in Afghanistan

Department of Defense/Pfc. Jorge A. Ortiz, U.S. Marine Corps(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The much-discussed, long-awaited start of the handover of security control in Afghanistan from NATO troops to Afghan forces officially began Sunday when the largely peaceful province of Bamiyan in the country’s mountainous central region became Kabul’s responsibility.

The region is one of the safest places in the country, but Afghan officials still weren’t taking any chances.  The government didn’t announce the transition ahead of time, and the handover ceremony was held at a police station amid tight security to prevent an insurgent attack.

Afghan police and security forces in the province will gradually take over from NATO-led soldiers from New Zealand.  The New Zealand soldiers are expected to remain in the area for one year.

The NATO coalition has promised Afghanistan it will turn over all security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

President Obama has already announced that some 33,000 U.S. troops out of the 100,000 in Afghanistan will leave by the end of 2012.  The reports one quarter of France's 4,000 troops and nearly 1,000 British soldiers will also leave at the same time.

International military forces will turn over control of security to Afghan forces in six other areas of the country this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Multiple Suicide Attack Kills Three Afghan Police Officers

U.S. State Department(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Three police officers were killed and three others injured when a police training center in Afghanistan was attacked by multiple suicide bombers Thursday, according to officials.

The attack took place at an Afghan Local Police training center in the Jaji district of Paktia province.  One suicide bomber managed to set off his explosives, while another was shot down by policemen.  Authorities are searching for a third bomber who got away.

The blast killed two members of the ALP and one member of the Afghan National Police.  Three other members of the ANP were also wounded in the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Taliban Kills 16 in Afghan Police Headquarters Attack

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- Sixteen people were killed on Saturday after Taliban militants attacked the police headquarters in Kandahar city.

Authorities say 15 Afghan National Police officers and one Afghan intelligence employee were killed after four attackers stormed the police headquarters on Saturday. A total of 50 people were injured in the attack, 25 of whom were police officers, and the other 25 being civilians.

The militants were reportedly armed with suicide bombs, guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and officials say there were also six vehicles filled with explosives parked near to the building. Three of those vehicles reportedly exploded, while police managed to diffuse the other three. Officials say the militants entered a wedding hall located across from the headquarters and opened fire on the headquarters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio