Afghan policeman kills 3 British soldiers

ISAF reports that three of its soldiers were killed today by “an individual wearing an Afghan National Civil Order Police uniform” in the south:

An individual wearing an Afghan National Civil Order Police uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force servicemembers in southern Afghanistan today, killing three service members.

The incident is under investigation.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

The British Ministry of Defence later released a statement on their website confirming that three of their soldiers from a Police Advisory Team were killed in Helmand province:

Two soldiers serving with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and one serving with the Royal Corps of Signals were killed in an incident at Checkpoint Kamparack Pul in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The soldiers were part of a Police Advisory Team which had been to the checkpoint to conduct a shura. On leaving, they were engaged by small arms fire from a man wearing an Afghan Police uniform. During this exchange of fire the three soldiers were wounded and, despite receiving first aid at the scene, they died of their injuries.

Afghan security forces personnel have now killed 27 ISAF soldiers in 2012. The last “green-on-blue” attack that resulted in the death of an ISAF soldier took place on June 18, when three Afghan Local Police members killed an ISAF soldier in the south.

Background on green-on-blue attacks this year

Afghan security personnel are now estimated to have killed 89 ISAF soldiers since May 2007. Twenty-seven of the 89 ISAF soldiers, or more than 30 percent, have been killed this year. These attacks have taken place in all areas in Afghanistan, not just in the south and east.

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 in March 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,” Lieutenant 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. And now, three months later, the data remains classified.

In May, ISAF commander General John Allen said that about half of the “green-on-blue” attacks have been carried out by Taliban infiltrators. The Taliban routinely take credit for these attacks.

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 more partnering of ISAF and Afghan units, and will heighten Coalition troops’ exposure to green-on-blue attacks. The US military has become so concerned with the green-on-blue attacks that it has ordered units to designate “guardian angels” in each unit whose job is to provide security for troops working with Afghans.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • mike merlo says:

    most unfortunate

  • W says:

    Were these stats also tracked during the Iraq War(s)? -And if so, are the number comparable?

  • Neonmeat says:

    I heard that the attacker was only wounded and was in a stable condition at Camp Bastion.
    So hopefully we can get some intel out of him. I imagine he would know very little anyway but hopefully it will reveal some of his motivations etc.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    What happened to all these “Gaurdian Angels” that were supposed to be around to protect the US and the British. Let’s at least waste these guys the minute they open fire on our boys.

  • Matt Adamchek says:

    When I read news like this (which has become all too frequent) one thought among many is: is going out there to train these Afghans in policing worth the risk ? I’m scheduled to leave for training by the end of July and should have boots on the ground by mid-August. I did the job in Iraq a few years ago, and the cause is worthwhile, but I’m having doubts this time around. R.I.P. to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.


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