An Afghan soldier and a teacher opened fire on NATO troops in Kandahar province today, killing two soldiers before being killed in return fire. Afghan security personnel have killed seven International Security Assistance Force soldiers in the past 10 days, while the Taliban have killed six ISAF troops during the same time period. Already this year, Afghan security personnel have killed 13 ISAF troops.
ISAF confirmed in a press release that the two soldiers were killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan.
“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,” the ISAF press release stated.
The ISAF soldiers were killed in the district of Zhari, a former Taliban stronghold in Kandahar province, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. One of the shooters was “an ANA [Afghan National Army] education corps member, appointed by the Karwan Company,” the news agency stated.
“In retaliatory fire, coalition troops killed the attacker and an ANA soldier. Another soldier was injured,” an official told Pajhwok.
Today’s murder of ISAF troops is the latest in a rash of killings by Afghan security forces. Four other US soldiers and one Albanian soldier have been killed in other attacks in Kabul, Nangarhar, and Kandahar, since Feb. 20. The attacks have prompted ISAF to withdraw its personnel from the Afghan ministries and tighten security at bases where ISAF personnel are mixed with Afghan troops and police.
On Feb. 25, an Afghan intelligence sergeant executed a US Army officer and a US Air Force officer at their desks in a high-security area inside the Interior Ministry in Kabul. The suspect, who had attended a Pakistani madrassa, walked out of the ministry without being detained after shooting the two officers in the back of the head, and is still on the loose.
On Feb. 23, two US soldiers were killed when an Afghan soldier in Nangarhar turned his weapon on US forces at a base during protests. The Afghan soldier escaped into the crowd.
And on Feb. 20, one Albanian soldier was killed in an ambush by Afghan policemen in Spin Boldak in Kandahar. Eleven Afghan policemen were detained after the shooting.
In the past 10 days Afghan security personnel have killed more ISAF soldiers than the Taliban. According to ISAF press releases, three ISAF soldiers were killed in an IED attack in the south on Feb. 21, and another three were killed “during an operation in western Afghanistan” on Feb. 20.
Afghan security personnel have killed “around 70 members of the NATO force … in 42 insider attacks from May 2007 through January 2012,” Reuters reported, based on statistics provided by the US Department of Defense. Thirteen of the ISAF soldiers, or almost 20 percent, have been killed in the last seven weeks, according to press releases issued by ISAF.
ISAF has not disclosed the number of incidents where ISAF soldiers are wounded by ANSF personnel, or the attacks on ISAF personnel that do not result in casualties. In an inquiry to ISAF by The Long War Journal, the response was that the “statistic is 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 increase in attacks against ISAF troops by Afghan personnel takes place as ISAF is seeking to accelerate the transition 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 increase Coalition troop’s exposure to green on blue attacks.
ISAF press releases documenting the murder of ISAF troops by Afghan security personnel in 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.
Initial reports indicate an individual turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in Kabul City today, killing two service members.
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.]
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.
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.
Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army.
An International Security Assistance Force service member was killed today in southern Afghanistan apparently by a member of the Afghan National Army.