4 ISAF soldiers killed in suicide, green-on-blue attacks

Four soldiers from the International Security Assistance Force were killed today in two separate attacks — a suicide bombing in Kabul and an insider, or green-on-blue, incident in the west.

The attack in Kabul was executed “by a suicide bomber in front of the Supreme Court close to Masoud Shahid circle,” Ariana News reported. ISAF confirmed that three soldiers were killed; the full press release is reproduced below:

We can confirm three International Security Assistance Force members died as a result of an enemy attack in Kabul today. Currently, Afghan officials and ISAF are reviewing the incident.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

The Taliban claimed credit for the suicide bombing in a statement that was release at Voice of Jihad.

A” Mujahid of the martyr unit of the Islamic Emirate, Bilal slammed his explosive-packed corolla car into the convoy of the US-Nato [sic],” the Taliban stated.

The attack was likely executed by what ISAF and US military officials have previously called the Kabul Attack Network. This network is made up of fighters from the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, and cooperates with terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda. Top Afghan intelligence officials have linked the Kabul Attack Network to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate as well. The network’s tentacles extend outward from Kabul into the surrounding provinces of Logar, Wardak, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Kunar, Ghazni, and Zabul.

Green-on-blue attack kills ISAF trainer in Farah

Also today, an Afghan soldier killed an ISAF military trainer at an Afghan base in the western province of Farah. ISAF confirmed in a press release that one soldier was killed:

We can confirm one International Security Assistance Force member died as a result of an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turning his weapon against ISAF members in western Afghanistan yesterday. Currently, Afghan officials and ISAF are reviewing the incident.

ISAF continues to train, advise and assist the ANSF, and does not view these incidents as representative of the positive relationship between our forces.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the slain ISAF trainer was an American, according to Stars and Stripes. And TOLONews reported that the attack took place in Farah, and that another ISAF trainer as well as an interpreter were wounded:

In a recent green on blue attack in Herat on Monday, an Afghan soldier shot an International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) trainer dead, injuring another trainer and an interpreter, local officials said on Tuesday.

The incident took place in a foreign military base in the 207 Zafar Army Corps, corps commander Taj Mohammad Zahid said, adding that the shooter was also killed during the fire exchange.

“The soldier had no link with the Taliban insurgents. He had psychological problems,” he said. “Investigations are underway.”

The Taliban haven’t claimed credit for the Farah attack at this time.

The last green-on-blue attack took place on Aug. 5 at a training center in Kabul. An Afghan soldier killed a US major general and wounded 16 more military personnel, including a US brigadier general, a German general, five British troops, and at least one Afghan officer. The Taliban did not claim credit for the attack, but praised the Afghan soldier who executed it.

Today’s attack is the fourth reported green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan so far this year, and the sixth to have taken place in Kabul since January 2007, according to The Long War Journal’s statistics.

The number of reported attacks on Coalition personnel in Afghanistan has dropped steeply since a high of 44 in 2012. Last year there were 13 such attacks. [For in-depth information, see LWJ special report, Green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan: the data.] The decline in attacks is due to several factors, including the continuing drawdown of Coalition personnel, reduced partnering with Afghan forces, and the adoption of heightened security measures in interactions between Coalition and Afghan forces.

The Taliban have devoted significant efforts to stepping up attempts to kill NATO troops and foreigners by infiltrating the ranks of Afghan security forces. Mullah Omar said as much in a statement released on Aug. 16, 2012, when he claimed that the Taliban “cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year [2011],” and he urged government officials and security personnel to defect and join the Taliban as a matter of religious duty. He also noted that the Taliban have created the “Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration” department, “with branches … now operational all over the country,” to encourage defections. [See Threat Matrix report, Mullah Omar addresses green-on-blue attacks.]

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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  • Scott J. says:

    RIP, brave soldiers.
    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again…
    There is just no excuse for exposing our people to armed Afghan troops for training purposes. We should be training the trainers on OUR bases in a safe environment (meaning the Afghans are disarmed). If any of that training requires firearms range training, it can be done under stringent range rules and lethal overwatch. This is so frustrating because it is so unnecessary.

  • ahamad john ayam says:

    I,m so sorry for this lost of these 4 young men .
    please let the world know that Pakistani ISI is behind all these terror.


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