In the first green-on-blue, or insider attack, in Afghanistan this year, two individuals dressed in Afghan National Security force uniforms shot and killed two Coalition soldiers in Kapisa province today. The International Security Assistance Force press release did not disclose the nationality of the soldiers, and said only that an investigation by ISAF and Afghan officials has begun.
Several civilians were also injured by gunfire from both sides during the attack, according to Pajwhok Afghan News, which reported that Kapisa province governor Mehrabuddin confirmed that the incident took place in the Taamir bazaar in Tagab district.
The Taliban claimed on their Voice of Jihad website that four US soldiers and nine Afghan police were killed in an “internecine conflict” in Tagab district. They also alleged that eight civilians were killed and five injured by crossfire during the incident.
There have been three previous green-on-blue attacks in Kapisa province; the most recent was on March 8, 2013, when Afghan soldiers turned their weapons on US troops at a US base in Tagab district, killing a civilian contractor.
Today’s attack is the first in Afghanistan since Oct. 26, when an Afghan soldier wounded two Coalition troops in a shooting at a base outside Kabul. Last year there were a total of 13 green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan, amounting to nearly 10 percent of total Coalition fatalities for the year. That figure was down from a high of 44 attacks in 2012, according to Long War Journal statistics. [See LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data, for more information.] The two fatalities from today’s green-on-blue attack comprise 18 percent of the total Coalition fatalities so far this year, which have all been American.
The long lull in attacks since October is due in large part to the ongoing drawdown in Coalition personnel, which has greatly reduced partnering with Afghan forces, as well as enhanced security measures such as the use of “guardian angels” during joint operations.
Update: US officials stated that the two slain soldiers were American, and that four other US troops were wounded in the attack. A Taliban spokesman claimed that the two attackers were “Taliban associates.”