Afghan policeman kills 7 colleagues in Helmand

On the same day that two US soldiers and a civilian adviser were killed by Afghan troops in Paktika province, a member of the Afghan Local Police turned on his colleagues at a checkpoint in Helmand province. From Khaama Press:

A local security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the incident took place in Gereshk district and the assailant police officer managed to flee the area.

The source further added all the weapons and equipments by were taken away by the police officer.

Another account of this attack was published earlier today at Pajhwok Afghan News. Before the news of this attack began to appear in the Afghan press, the Taliban claimed credit for killing six policemen in Gereshk. From Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s propaganda website:

The attack took place yesterday at 03:00 pm when the Mujahid opened fire inside a check post in Zumbuli region’s Qala Poti area, killing all 6 puppets inside before joining up with Mujahideen along with seized arms including a sedan vehicle, 1 Pk machine gun, 1 pistol, 2 Ak rifles and an assortment of other equipment.

The green-on-green attacks, in which Afghan forces turn on their own, often are far more deadly than the green-on-blue variety. The last major green-on-green attack reported, on May 28, resulted in the deaths of seven Afghan policemen in Kandahar province.

Meanwhile, in the western province of Farah, an Afghan Local Police commander and an undisclosed number of policemen under his command defected to the Taliban. From Khaama Press:

The officials further added Yaqoub, ALP commander has taken a number of light and heavy military equipments with him.

Provincial security commandment spokesman, Ahmad Fawad Askari confirming the report said that the ALP commander has taken 18 weapons along with an armored national police vehicle with him.

Mr. Askari further added that the commander has surrendered all the weapons and the armored vehicle to Taliban militants.

The frequency with which Afghan security personnel are either turning on ISAF personnel or their Afghan colleagues, or defecting to the Taliban, does not bode well for the future of Afghanistan. You’d be hard pressed to say that Afghan security personnel would be committing these acts with such frequency if they perceived that the Taliban were losing.

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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  • blert says:

    Something to always keep in mind:
    The ISI/ Taliban do not observe any of the rules of modern war. These date from 1648 — the end of the Thirty Years War.
    During that conflict ( really a clutch of wars ) everything the ISI/ Taliban are doing was the norm. The end result was that 1/3 of the population in the active zone died.
    Practically at the top of the list:
    False flags/ false colors (uniforms) and flipping sides in the middle of a battle — sometimes twice in a single battle.(!)
    A little bit further down the list:
    Taking hostages — as in the wives and children of the opposition — so as to compel treasonous activity.
    This gambit is almost certainly the point at issue with the ALP and other similar fighting units. The men flipping sides did so because they were trapped by family obligation.
    For such feral tactics there will be no ‘tell.’ That’s why a guy can be a great soldier for two or three years — and then….
    These gambits are so old that they are new again.
    The traditional solution was tit for tat. Eventually, that must come. The ISI may have a glass jaw: unable to survive the very tactics and gambits that they’ve initiated.

  • mike merlo says:

    most unfortunate
    “You’d be hard pressed to say that Afghan security personnel would be committing these acts with such frequency if they perceived that the Taliban were losing.” Operative word, “perceived.”


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