Less than a week after his arrest for opening fire on Slovakian soldiers guarding Kandahar Airfield, an Afghan National Army soldier has escaped from detention, with the aid of a fellow ANA soldier. One Slovakian soldier was killed and six others were wounded in the green-on-blue attack on July 9. The Guardian reports that the attacker and his accomplice are “believed to have headed towards the eastern mountain provinces, full of lawless pockets where insurgents hold sway.”
Lamber Khan, a two-year veteran of the ANA from Laghman province, escaped from an Afghan detention facility in Kandahar yesterday along with the accomplice, who, according to Gen. Abdul Hameed, the commander of the Afghan 205th Army Corps, comes from the same area of eastern Afghanistan near Jalalabad, the New York Times reported. Gen. Hameed described the accomplice as a “trustworthy” person and supervisor of the attacker, and said the escape plan involved taking the attacker to the facility’s hospital wing for supposed medical care, then undoing his shackles so he could escape along with the accomplice.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News, Khan escaped from the jail after being taken out of his cell and pretending to take medicine. Javed Faisal, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Afghan security forces have been directed to recapture the two escapees as quickly as possible.
A spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force confirmed that ISAF was aware of the escape from an Afghan facility and was ready to “support the government of Afghanistan if requested,” the New York Times reported.
Following the escape, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi claimed that the attacker and his colleague had joined the Taliban. He further claimed that Khan was a five-year veteran of the army who had been in touch with the Taliban prior to and after the attack.
At the time of his arrest, Afghan authorities described Khan as a disgruntled soldier who was unhappy that foreign forces “had conducted raids and frequent searches of his village in eastern Afghanistan,” according to The New York Times.
Yesterday’s escape from detention is the first reported instance of a green-on-blue attacker escaping following his arrest, according to The Long War Journal‘s special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data. There have been numerous instances, however, of green-on-blue attackers escaping right after the attack, prior to detention. In fact, 34 attackers are known to have escaped arrest, as compared to 25 who have been captured (11 of whom were detained in one incident). According to LWJ‘s data, 38 green-on-blue attackers have been killed during or right after the attack, and six have been wounded.
On July 8, one day before Khan turned his rifle on the Slovakian soldiers at Kandahar Airfield, ISAF formally transferred security responsibility for Regional Command South to Afghan forces, in a ceremony at the air base.
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