4 Afghan policemen killed in ‘green-on-green’ insider attack

A group of five Afghan policemen turned on their colleagues in the Gereshk district in the southern province of Helmand earlier today. Four policemen were killed and six more were wounded in the “green-on-green” attack. From Khaama Press:

Local authorities in Helmand province said the incident took place Thursday night in Gereshk district.

Gereshk district security chief Toryalai said, “At least four Afghan police officers were killed after five of their comrades opened fire on them around 10 pm on Thursday night.”

Mr. Toryalai further added the five assailant police officers who were sent to assist the police officers and prevent Taliban attack on the check post, and managed to flee the area after killing their comrades.

He said the all the new police officers including the assailants and the victims were recently hired in Afghan police forces.

Afghan officials are attempting to determine if this incident was due to a disagreement, or if it was a Taliban insider attack.

The Taliban released a statement on the attack, and claimed the policemen joined the terror group after executing their comrades. From Voice of Jihad:

Reports arriving from Gereshk district state that a group of 6 police officers under the leadership of Commander Ismatullah turned their guns on other police inside a check post in Awpashak area.

The incident which occurred last night resulted in the death of 5 puppets while the commander and his men grabbed 6 Ak rifles, 1 Pk machine gun, 1 light machine gun and other equipment before safely joining up with nearby Mujahideen.

It is worth reminding that 3 days earlier, another infiltrator police officer (Atiqullah) turned his gun on British invaders, killing 3 on the spot before grabbing an enemy machine gun and joining up with Mujahideen in the same province’s Babaji district.

There have been two green-on-blue attacks, where Afghan security forces attack Coalition personnel, in Gereshk since mid-September. On Oct. 30, an Afghan policeman shot and killed two British soldiers in the district before defecting to the Taliban. And on Sept. 15, a member of the Afghan Local Police opened fire on a group of British soldiers in the district, killing two soldiers and wounding two more. The attacker was killed in return fire from another British soldier. The Taliban claimed credit for both attacks.

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 have been killed so far this year alone; it is likely that scores more have been wounded in the green-on-green attacks.

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:

    Spooky stuff

  • Birbal Dhar says:

    This show that the Afghan Police don’t really do checks on people, but instead rely on tribal leaders, who themselves may be corrupt as well, by being paid by the Taliban to tell the police that this new recruit is good, which turns out not the case. Interestingly these kind of thing have not been happening in other muslim areas of conflict.
    In Iraq, sunni terrorists would not be able to infiltrate the police because they are dominated by the Shias, but it’s easy for terrorists to get police uniform and pretend that they are from the force.
    In Somalia, these kind of things have not so far happened. Whether it’s because their checks are strict or something else, we don’t know.


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