On Sunday night, a commander of the Afghan Local Police forces in Jawzjan province opened fire on his fellow policemen at a checkpoint, killing five before fleeing to the Taliban. The incident is just the latest in a continuing series of green-on-green attacks, in which Afghan security forces turn on their colleagues. These attacks are, like the green-on-blue attack today that killed a US adviser in Kabul, an important part of the Taliban’s ongoing campaign to undermine Afghan security.
Khaama Press reported that the attacker, a former militant commander named Dur Mohammed, had reached a deal with the militants prior to the attack. Mohammed was a prominent insurgent leader in Jawzjan who had recently joined the peace process, according to provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Aziz Ghairat.
Khaama also reports another version of the incident, provided by a local resident, who said that Dur Mohammed and another police officer were abducted by insurgents after the insurgents had killed the five policemen.
According to the Associated Press, the attacker was manning the security checkpoint along with the other policemen. After shooting them, he stole their weapons and fled to the Taliban.
Green-on-green attacks such as this one are a frequent occurrence in Afghanistan. A few days ago, on Dec. 19, there was another green-on-green attack, in Spin Boldak in Kandahar province. Khaama Press reported that the attacker, an Afghan border policeman, first poisoned his colleagues at a security checkpoint, then opened fire on them. At least four policemen were shot dead, and three more were injured; the attacker managed to flee. Incidentally, there were two green-on-blue attacks in Spin Boldak earlier this year; the latest, on Aug. 19, resulted in the firing of the district police chief for negligence and lack of control over his personnel [see LWJ report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data].
While we haven’t been tracking the green-on-green attacks as closely as we have tracked the green-on-blue incidents (the availability of data is sparse), on Sept. 30 The Associated Press reported that at least 53 members of the Afghan National Security Forces had been killed so far this year alone. It is likely that the casualty count for the green-on-green attacks is significantly higher now and that scores more have been wounded.