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Entries in green on blue (13)

Monday
Mar112013

Two US Troops, Three Afghan Cops Killed in Apparent 'Insider' Attack

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Two U.S. troops are dead after an apparent "insider" attack in eastern Afghanistan on Monday.

According to officials, a gunman wearing an Afghan police uniform opened fire at a police training facility in Wardak province, killing the American soldiers and three Afghan police officers.  The International Security Assistance Force says “several others” were also wounded.

A joint U.S.-Afghan team is investigating the shooting.

The attack comes on the heels of Afghan President Hamid Karzai accusing the U.S. of wanting instability in Afghanistan simply to prove that more American troops need to stay beyond 2014. 

Those accusations were categorically rejected by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

British Soldier Killed in 'Insider' Attack in Afghanistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- A British soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan on Monday in a so-called "green on blue" attack, according to officials.

In a statement Tuesday, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said one of its members was killed after "an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against" ISAF troops.  Afghan officials say the incident happened in the Gereshk district of Helmand province.

The "insider" attack also left six other troops injured, two critically, according to officials. The attacker was killed.

ISAF says the incident is currently under investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov122012

British Soldier Killed by Afghan Soldier During Soccer Match

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- In the latest so-called "green on blue" attack, a British soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan Sunday in what was supposed to be a friendly soccer game on Veteran's Day.

NATO says a group of British and Afghan soldiers were playing a soccer match in Helmand province, when -- for reasons that aren't yet clear -- an Afghan soldier opened fire.  One British soldier was killed in the firefight.

After a return exchange of gunfire, the Afghan soldier was initially captured but later died of his wounds.

Insider attacks like these are a growing concern for coalition officials, creating suspicion and mistrust between Afghans and their coalition allies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

'Insider Attacks' Resume in Afghanistan

REZA SHIRMOHAMMADI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- After a lull of several weeks, "insider attacks" on coalition troops have apparently resumed in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon reported Thursday that two U.S. troops were killed by someone dressed in an Afghan police uniform who opened fire on them in the southern Uruzgan province.

Maj. Lori Hodge, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said it was unclear whether the shooter was a member of the national security forces or an insurgent disguised as a police officer.

The shooting occurred just a day after Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar posted a message on radical Islamic websites, calling for more insider attacks on coalition forces.  Omar has been hiding out in Pakistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan 11 years ago.

So far in 2012, there have been 55 members of the coalition killed in this fashion, most of them U.S. service members.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct252012

Taliban Leader Urges More 'Insider Attacks' in Afghanistan

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is urging his followers in Afghanistan to step up so-called "insider attacks" on U.S. and Afghan forces.

Omar, who fled Afghanistan following the U.S.-led invasion 11 years ago and is believed to be hiding out in Pakistan, made his decree during a message posted on the Internet to commemorate the Eid al-Adha holiday that begins Friday.

Insider attacks this year have cost the lives of at least 52 coalition troops this year, most of them American.

The Pentagon says that the deadly assaults are committed by Taliban members or sympathizers who have infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces, although some of the deaths are attributed to regular soldiers or police suffering from battle fatigue.

Messages from Omar have been relatively few over the years as he remains a target of U.S. and NATO forces.

He said in his latest missive that the Taliban is winning and vowed to continue the fight "against the invaders who have invaded our country until the occupation ends completely."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep162012

Four US Troops Killed in Afghan Inside Attack; 8 Coalition Troops Killed in 3 Days

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Four American service members were killed by an Afghan policeman early Sunday, the third attack on coalition forces in three days, bringing the death toll in the recent violence to eight.

The attacks -- two "green on blue" incidents and an assault on a coalition base by 15 Taliban fighters -- come as tensions flared across the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film that was produced in the United States.

In the latest attack, an Afghan police officer turned his gun on NATO troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan before dawn. Four U.S. soldiers were killed before the shooter escaped, bringing the total of coalition troops killed to six in just two days.

International Security Assistance Force officials say the attacker is still at large, and noted it's unclear if there were multiple assailants. It is still unclear exactly what transpired at the checkpoint, according to Afghan officials, who say American forces responded to an attack on the checkpoint to help the Afghan police.

"The checkpoint was attacked last night. Then the police started fighting with the Americans," Ghulam Gilani, deputy police chief of Zabul province, said. "Whether they attacked the Americans willingly, we don't know."

A Taliban spokesman said the police involved were not affiliated with the Taliban insurgency.

Also Sunday, NATO confirmed that an airstrike that killed as many as 45 insurgents also killed five to eight Afghan civilian casualties -- including women and children.

"ISAF takes full responsibility for this tragedy," the coalition said in a statement released after the strike.

The civilian casualties can only increase tensions in the country, and villagers who drove the bodies of the dead to the privincial capital, Mehterlam chanted "Death to America," Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zewak said.

"Protecting Afghan lives is the cornerstone of our mission and it saddens us when we learn that our action might have unintentionally harmed civilians," said Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for the international military in Afghanistan.

So far this year, 51 coalition troops have been killed by Afghan service members. At least 12 such attacks happened in August alone, leaving 15 dead.

News of the shooting comes after one of the biggest attacks ever on an ISAF base. On Friday, 15 Taliban attackers, dressed in U.S. Army uniforms, attacked Camp Bastion in Afghan's Helmand province.

According to the ISAF, the insurgents used automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and explosive suicide vests in the late night attack. Two U.S. Marines were killed, and nine others were wounded, including one civilian contractor.

During the attack, which officials say appeared to be well planned and rehearsed, the insurgents destroyed six Harrier fighter jets, worth about $20 million each, and damaged two others. They also damaged six hangars and destroyed three refueling stations.

The last attack in which so many U.S. aircraft were destroyed at one time is believed to have been more than 40 years ago, during the Vietnam War.

All but one of the insurgents were killed by return gunfire, and a 15th was captured. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for the controversial video made in the United States that insults the Prophet Muhammad.

Prince Harry, a member of the U.K. military in Afghanistan is based at Camp Bastion. When he was first stationed there, the Taliban said they were out to kill him, although NATO officials say he was several miles away, and was never in danger during this attack.

On Saturday, two British troops were killed in an attack in Helmand province carried out by a gunman in the uniform of a government-backed militia.

Recent months have seen a string of attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts, who are working towards handing over security responsibilities to the Afghans as international troops draw down.

This weekend's attacks come amid turmoil throughout the Middle East, where anti-American protests have flared up, ostensibly in response to the online video mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

An attack on the American embassy in Libya last week led to four deaths, including the American ambassador to Libya. The protests have prompted the removal of U.S. personnel from their posts in Sudan and Tunisia.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told Jake Tapper on This Week the attack was not premeditated, contradicting top Libyan officials who say the attack was planned in advance.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the turmoil raging across the Muslim world will likely continue for days, but the violence appears to be leveling off.

He said the Pentagon has "deployed our forces to a number of areas in the region to be prepared to respond to any requests that we receive to be able to protect our personnel and our American property."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep072012

NATO Commander Calls for Coordinated Effort to Stop 'Insider Attacks'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said on Thursday that the epidemic of "insider attacks" that has cost the lives of 45 coalition soldiers this year, most of them American, is a problem that requires a coordinated response.

These assaults by members of Afghan Security forces against U.S. and NATO troops are also known as "green on blue" attacks.

According to statement released by Allen, "This is not simply a Green on Blue problem; it is a threat to both Green and Blue that requires a Green and Blue solution."

The Pentagon believes that besides personal grievances Afghans might have against foreigners, the Taliban and other insurgents have managed to infiltrate the national army and police.

Afghanistan announced this week that it had detained or kicked out hundreds of troops suspected of enemy allegiances, while the U.S. military said its Special Forces had suspended training for about 1,000 Afghan police recruits to vet existing members.

Allen concluded, "The sum total of our combined efforts will be that we are better protected.  Central to success is maintaining and strengthening our bonds with our Afghan brothers and recognizing this is a threat directed at us all."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

Afghan Fires and Detains Soldiers in Effort to Stop 'Insider Attacks'

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghanistan's solution to ending the string of "insider attacks" that have cost dozens of U.S. lives this year is by giving hundreds of its own soldiers their walking papers.

Along with firing troops suspected of conspiring with the enemy, Kabul announced that it has also arrested numerous soldiers in an effort to prevent the Afghan assaults on American and NATO forces.

Gen. Zahir Azimi, a defense ministry spokesman, said, ''So far, hundreds of people have either been arrested or expelled from the army.  We have found evidence against some people and some suspicious people have been arrested.''

Azimi claimed the action to ferret out possible rogue security members began six months ago.

There have been as many as 30 "insider attacks" in 2012 that have left 45 coalition forces dead, most of them U.S. troops.  These deaths have accounted for about a third of the coalition fatalities this year.

The Pentagon has been especially hard on the Afghan government to take greater steps to minimize the possibility of Taliban sympathizers infiltrating their forces.

In other developments, the U.S. military said its Special Forces had suspended training for about 1,000 Afghan police recruits to vet existing members.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug272012

Afghan Soldier Kills Two US Troops in Latest 'Green-on-Blue' Attack

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Two American troops were killed when a rogue Afghan soldier opened fire Monday morning, the latest in a series of so-called "insider attacks" that have severely damaged the trust between coalition forces and their Afghan allies.

Monday's attack happened in Laghman province, in a river valley rife with Taliban activity.  It's the same area where an ABC News crew was caught in a Taliban ambush in July.

According to NATO officials, the U.S. soldiers were part of a wheeled convoy travelling through the Alingar valley when one of their vehicles was hit by a roadside bomb. When the soldiers dismounted to investigate, there was an altercation between them and an Afghan soldier.  The Afghan soldier then pulled his weapon and fired, killing two U.S. soldiers before he was killed by return gunfire.

With Monday's attacks, 12 American soldiers have been killed in the last month, all at the hands of their Afghan allies.  This year, 42 coalition troops have been killed in insider attacks.  The majority of them were American.  The total surpasses the entire amount of insider attacks in 2011, when 35 coalition troops were killed by Afghan allies.

In response to this year's rash of attacks, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, has ordered all troops to carry armed weapons with them at all times -- on base and off.  Afghan officials have also promised to review their recruitment process, which has come under criticism for not vetting candidates properly before allowing them to enlist in Afghanistan's armed forces.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug242012

US and Afghanistan Differ on Reasons for 'Insider' Attacks

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The Pentagon doesn't know what to make of allegations by Afghan officials that foreign intelligence services are primarily responsible for a recent spike in "insider" attacks that left 10 U.S. troops dead at the hands of Afghan security forces over a two-week period.

Overall, there have been 40 NATO troops killed in these assaults this year that were initially blamed on fatigue and stress affecting Afghan soldiers and police.

Gen. John Allen, commander of all coalition forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged on Thursday that the Taliban might have more of a role in "insider" attacks than previously believed.

Allen said that in addition to the 10 percent of Taliban infiltrators thought to have committed the killings, another 15 percent could possibly be pinned on Afghan forces influenced by the Taliban either directly or through other people.

In spite of the problem, Allen says it won't waylay plans to hand over all security responsibilities to the Afghans by 2014, saying, "The closer the relationship with them -- indeed the more we can foster a relationship of brotherhood -- the more secure we are."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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