Afghan security forces kill 3 ISAF troops in south, east


An Afghan soldier killed two British soldiers on a military base in southern Afghanistan today, while a policeman killed an ISAF soldier in the east. The Afghan soldier was killed by ISAF troops, who opened fire on the attacker. Afghan security personnel have now killed 16 ISAF troops this year.

An International Security Assistance Force press release identified the shooter in the south as an "individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform [who] turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members." The two ISAF soldiers' names and nationalities have not been disclosed, but the British Ministry of Defense later announced the deaths of two British soldiers in Lashkar Gah.

"The two servicemen, one a Royal Marine, and the other a soldier from the Adjutant General's Corps (Staff & Personnel Support), were serving as part of Task Force Helmand when they were shot and killed at the main entrance to Lashkar Gah Main Operating Base in Helmand province by an Afghan National Army soldier," the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement released on its website.

It is unclear if the Afghan was a disgruntled soldier or a Taliban infiltrator. ISAF said that a "joint Afghan and ISAF team is investigating the incident."

The attack took place on a military base in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand. ISAF operates a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the city.

In the second attack, a member of the Afghan Local Police shot and killed an ISAF soldier in eastern Afghanistan.

"According to operational reports, the ISAF service member was shot by an alleged member of the Afghan Local Police as the security force approached an ALP checkpoint," ISAF stated in a second press release. It is unclear if the policeman has been detained or if he escaped.

ISAF said Coalition and Afghan forces are investigating the shooting. ISAF did not identify the nationality of the soldier who was gunned down by the Afghan policeman.

ISAF: number of attacks on Coalition forces by Afghan personnel is "classified"

Today's "green on blue" attacks, the term used by the US military to describe Afghan attacks on Coalition forces, are the first such attacks to result in the death of ISAF troops since March 1, when an Afghan soldier and a teacher both opened fire on NATO troops in Kandahar province, killing two soldiers before being killed in return fire. That attack culminated a 10-day period in which seven ISAF troops had been killed by Afghan soldiers.

Afghan security personnel are now estimated to have killed 81 ISAF soldiers since May 2007. Sixteen of the ISAF soldiers, or almost 20 percent, were killed this year, according to press releases issued by ISAF [see below].

ISAF has not disclosed the number of incidents in which ISAF soldiers were wounded by ANSF personnel, or the attacks on ISAF personnel that did not result in casualties. ISAF told The Long War Journal that "these statistics ... [are ] ... classified."

"[A]ttacks by ANSF on Coalition Forces...either resulting in non-injury, injury or death....these stats as a whole (the total # attacks) are what is classified and not releasable," Lieutentant Colonel Jimmie Cummings, ISAF's Press Desk Chief, told The Long War Journal. Cummings said that ISAF is "looking to declassify this number."

Inquiries as to why the overall statistic is classified went unanswered.

The rise in attacks against ISAF troops by Afghan personnel takes place as ISAF is seeking to accelerate the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces. The plan calls for an increase in the number of ISAF trainers as well as increased partnering of ISAF and Afghan units, and will heighten Coalition troops' exposure to green on blue attacks.

ISAF press releases documenting the murder of ISAF troops by Afghan security personnel in 2012:

March 26, 2012:
An International Security Assistance Force service member died following a shooting incident in eastern Afghanistan today. According to operational reports, the ISAF service member was shot by an alleged member of the Afghan Local Police as the security force approached an ALP checkpoint.

March 26, 2012:
An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two service members. The individual who opened fire was killed when coalition forces returned fire.

March 1, 2012:
Two individuals, one believed to be an Afghan National Army service member and the other in civilian clothing, turned their weapons indiscriminately against International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Security Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing two ISAF service members.

Feb. 25, 2012:
Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members.

Feb. 23, 2012:
An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in eastern Afghanistan today, killing one service member. [Note this was later revised to two soldiers killed.]

Feb. 20, 2012:
An individual wearing the uniform of the Afghan Uniformed Police turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan today, killing one service member.

Jan. 31, 2012:
An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against an International Security Assistance Force service member in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one service member.

Jan. 20, 2012:
Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army.

Jan. 8, 2012:
An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.



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READER COMMENTS: "Afghan security forces kill 3 ISAF troops in south, east"

Posted by Kent Gatewood at March 26, 2012 12:45 PM ET:

Have the various special forces been able to keep from being attacked this way?

Posted by Gitmo-Joe at March 26, 2012 4:25 PM ET:

Well, if you look at each incident in isolation, there is no trend. If there is no trend there is no message. On top of that blue green is the color of the ocean so clearly this can't be too serious. No change in plan required.

Posted by gitmo-joe at March 27, 2012 9:33 AM ET:

Looks like we will be seeing a lot more of this "green on blue". Security over there is looking more and more like a swiss cheese - full of holes. From Al Jazeera today;

"Al Jazeera has been told by a high-level intelligence service source that the 11 suicide vests, packed with explosives and used by suicide bombers, have been found inside the ministry of defence headquarters - one of the most secure, heavily guarded buildings in the Afghan capital".

Posted by mike merlo at March 27, 2012 6:16 PM ET:

most unfortunate

Posted by mike merlo at March 27, 2012 9:16 PM ET:

re: gitmo
maybe VP Biden planted the vests to help speed our withdrawal

Posted by James at March 28, 2012 4:28 PM ET:

In the past, Bill has accurately reported many cases of Taliban members [supposedly] 'reconciling' with the Afghan government.
I
t is obvious to me that many if not most of these attacks are in fact carried out by Taliban moles that have infiltrated the Afghan defense forces.

This fits their 'profile' (if you can call it that) perfectly. They have no uniforms of their own. They have to wear other uniforms of of other entities to carry out their murderous and cowardly acts.

They are not real soldiers. If they were, they'd wear uniforms to show what they really represent and they'd fight their supposed enemies on battlefields like real soldiers do.

Posted by anonymous coward at March 29, 2012 2:38 AM ET:

"these statistics ... [are ] ... classified."

the military leaks classified information all the time. the bin ladin raid details being the most obvious example. or books like 'seeds of terror', which flat out says things like 'this reporter saw classified reports that said x y z'.

the easiest way around this type of BS is to find some congressman to read it into the congressional record, where the executive branch cannot touch it and it will become truly public domain.


Posted by gitmo-joe at March 29, 2012 10:16 AM ET:

@Merlo

Not sure what you mean. I don't follow Biden too closely but here is a quote from his press conference with Karzai;

"Let me say it plainly, Mr. President, it is not our intention to govern or to nation-build. As President Karzai often points out, this is the responsibility of the Afghan people, and they are fully capable of it. As President Obama said it in a slightly different way, he said, “It’s Afghans who must secure their country. And it’s Afghans who must build their nation.” And we stand ready to help you in that effort."

I don't have a problem with that. I think he's right on.