Afghan soldiers attack Spanish troops in Badghis

Members of Afghanistan’s security forces have yet again attacked Coalition personnel. This time, Spanish soldiers with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Badghis province were the target of the green-on-blue, or insider attack, according to Pajhwok Afghan News:

The attacker and a 12-year-old boy were wounded in return fire from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops, who suffered no casualties in the latest “green-on-blue” assault.

A spokesman for the Badghis governor told Pajhwok Afghan News the insider attack took place at 10am in Maqur district, where the Spanish soldiers were inspecting reconstruction projects.

The International Security Assistance Force confirmed the incident, and said that two Afghan soldiers responsible for opening fire on the Spanish soldiers were detained. “There were no fatalities. ISAF service members returned fire, wounding one of the shooters. Both attackers are currently in ANA custody. ISAF and Afghan officials are assessing the incident,” ISAF initially told Pajhwok Afghan News.

However, an ISAF public affairs officer later told The Long War Journal on Nov. 11 that “One Spanish soldier received minor injuries yesterday in Muqar district of Badghis province when two Afghan National Army service members attacked ISAF forces.”

“The ISAF forces returned fire wounding one of the attackers,” the ISAF officier continued. “The second attacker was taken into Afghan custody. The wounded Spanish service member has returned to duty.”

The Taliban have not released a statement claiming credit for the attack in Badghis.

There have been 41 green-on-blue attacks reported so far this year, resulting in the deaths of 59 ISAF military and civilian personnel (note: ISAF does not disclose data on all such attacks; ISAF has told The Long War Journal that the overall number of attacks is “classified”). The green-on-blue attacks now account for more than 16 percent of ISAF’s casualties so far this year. Last year, such attacks accounted for 6 percent of ISAF’s casualties. In 2010, green-on-blue attacks made up just 2 percent of ISAF’s casualties. See LWJ report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data, for more information.

Note: This article was updated on Nov. 11 to reflect new information that a Spanish soldier was wounded in the attack.

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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