Alleged insider attack on Italian troops in Farah denied by ISAF

According to Afghan press reports, three Afghan policemen opened fire on Italian troops during a dismounted patrol in Farah province late on Jan. 14 or before dawn on Jan. 15. The incident did not result in any casualties. Pajhwok Afghan News, which reported the attack, carried varying accounts of the incident from the provincial governor, the district administrator, a provincial security official, and a Taliban spokesman.

Khaama Press reported on the incident as well, noting as did the Pajhwok account that a convoy of Italian troops was attacked in Bakwa district by two Afghan national police officers and an Afghan a local police officer, and that all three attackers managed to escape.

The Taliban claimed the attack, according to Pajhwok, which reported: “Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, the militant mouthpiece, identified the attackers included an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier Mohammad Ayaz and three policemen.”

The Pajhwok story states that the International Security Assistance Force denied that there had been an insider, or green-on-blue, attack at all in Farah province at that time.

ISAF also denied the existence of the alleged attack in the following response to an inquiry by The Long War Journal:

We are aware of regional media outlets reporting about this event but, according to our current operational reporting, we can confirm that such an incident did not occur in Farah province.

Interestingly, Xinhua reports that at the same time in the same district in Farah, a joint Afghan and Coalition operation killed five Taliban fighters and injured several more, according to the provincial Inspector General of Police, Aqa Mir Kintoz.

According to the LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data, there have been 73 reported green-on-blue attacks since Jan. 1, 2008, which have killed 126 Coalition personnel. In 2012, the attacks caused 15% of all Coalition casualties. There has been only one reported attack in Farah province since 2008; it took place on Aug. 17, 2012 in Kinisk village in the Bala Bolok district, which borders Bakwa, where the alleged green-on-blue attack occurred earlier this week.

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1 Comment

  • mike merlo says:

    The fact that the ‘alleged’ insider attack took place at or around dawn in the course of a raid targeting insurgents leaves open the possibility of a ‘friendly fire’ incident as a result of mistaken identity that fortunately did not result in any Coalition or Afghan Forces fatalities


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