Taliban kill 7 Afghan policemen in green-on-green attack

The Taliban claimed credit for an insider attack against Afghan police forces in Kandahar province last night. From Reuters:

Two Afghan police officers who had recently rejoined the force after defecting to the Taliban, shot dead seven of their sleeping colleagues on Tuesday, a police chief said.

The killings came during a particularly bloody 24 hours for Afghan forces, with another 16 soldiers, police and bodyguards killed in different attacks, underscoring concern about government forces as foreign troops prepare to leave.

Kandahar Afghan National Police chief Abdul Raziq said the two police officers had defected to the Taliban months ago but returned several days ago asking to rejoin.

They were accepted back.

“As soon as the policemen fell asleep, the pair grabbed weapons and opened fire, killing all seven,” Raziq said.

The attack occurred in the early hours in the Arghistan district of the southern province of Kandahar.

The Taliban said that a police commander loyal to General Abdul Raziq, the Chief of Police for Kandahar province, who has been the target of several assassination attempts over the years. From Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s multilingual propaganda website:

An infiltrator Mujahid of Islamic Emirate has killed all gunmen inside a check post in Arghastan district, according to officials.

Reports from the area say that at around 02:00 am today, the said officer opened fire on the enemy troops inside the check post located in Tori Gari area, killing all the 12 gunmen inside including the check post commander (Bazu from Ma’ruf district who was a close associate of Commander Razziq).

The hero later collected all the arms, ammunition and other equipment, packed it into a pickup truck and joined up with Mujahideen who later transferred him to a safe location.

The Taliban have said that they would attack Afghan forces as well as Western troops as part of the ‘spring offensive.’ Insider attacks were touted by the Taliban as a key tactic [see LWJ report, Taliban promise suicide assaults, ‘insider attacks’ in this year’s spring offensive].

While most of the focus on insider attacks is on the green-on-blue variety, in which Afghan forces attack ISAF personnel, the majority of the insider attacks actually take place within the ranks of the Afghan National Security Forces. The green-on-green attacks usually result in the deaths of multiple Afghan personnel. Unfortunately, reliable data on the number of green-on-green attacks is not currently available.

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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5 Comments

  • mike merlo says:

    “Two Afghan police officers who had recently rejoined the force after defecting to the Taliban.” I guess in future ‘we’ can expect ‘see’ repatriated Afghans sleeping & taking their meals ‘outside’ the ‘wire.’
    By the way what ever happened to the word ‘traitor?’

  • blert says:

    Such an incomplete telling leaves a reader to wonder…
    Why weren’t the double-defectors locked up?
    They fit the profile of assassin-traitors to a tee.

  • Nic says:

    @ mike merlo and blert: The video

    will explain “Kandahar Afghan National Police chief Abdul Raziq said the two police officers had defected to the Taliban months ago but returned several days ago asking to rejoin.
    They were accepted back.”

  • mike merlo says:

    @Nic
    Yeah I got ‘all’ that. That’s nothing new. Its a common & oft ‘practiced trait’ of Islam to accept those back into the fold who have gone astray. However when juxtaposed against Mullah Omar’s Publicly avowed intention of infiltrating the ranks of Afghan Military & Security Forces such practices as repatriating those that have engaged in the actions of the Officers’ in question would at the very least give one ‘pause.’

  • SantSipahi84 says:

    Or, is the police chief getting money to let them back in to carry out the assassination?
    This is not a western country, look at how other south asian gov. work and you’ll see what’s going on.
    It’s similar to the attack in the Indian state of Chattisgarh this past saturday where almost all of the state’s congress (ruling party) leadership were killed.

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