News Brief – March 26, 2012
The killing of two British soldiers by an Afghan Army soldier in Khandar is the latest such incident where Afghan soldiers have turned on their Coalition counterparts.
Meanwhile, an “alleged member” of the Afghan police killed another foreign soldier in the eastern part of Afghanistan on Monday.
The two British soldiers were killed when a member of the Afghan Army opened fire at the main gate of the British HQ at Lashgar Gah in Helmand Province. A third British soldier was reported seriously wounded during the shooting Monday.
An ISAF spokesman named the gunman responsible as Afghan Army lieutenant Gul Nazar.
Although a Taliban stronghold, Lashgar Gah was one of the first places where responsibility for security was handed over to the Afghan forces as part of the transition process.
The so-called “green-on-blue” attacks by Afghan security personnel on foreign Coalition Forces have become a regular feature of the campaign. Apart from raising the level tension between ISAF and their Afghan allies, the incidents also mark a steady decline in the overall security situation in the country.
Relations between Coalition forces and their Afghan counterparts have worsened considerably in recent months after reports surfaced that copies of the Koran were being burnt at the U.S. Bagram Airbase, an act of sacrilege in the eyes of Afghan Muslims, and videos emerged of U.S. soldiers urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.
The burning of the Korans in particular badly damaged relations between the allies and sparked widespread protests across Afghanistan.
The ISAF said in a statement that in the second incident an ISAF member was “shot by an alleged member of the Afghan local police” as Coalition Forces approached a checkpoint.
Monday’s deaths bring the number of ISAF service members killed by Afghan security personnel in 2012 to 16. A total of 91 foreign soldiers have been killed in the campaign so far this year.
In one of the worst “green-on-blue” attacks, two senior U.S. military advisors were killed in the heavily fortified Ministry of the Interior in Kabul last month. Both men were killed with execution-style shots to the back of the head.
The recent massacre of Afghan civilians in Kandahar has sent levels of mistrust between the allies soaring. Compounding matters considerably, Afghan eyewitnesses claim that more than one U.S. soldier was responsible for killing the 16 civilians in Kandahar Province.
Although they have received minimal publicity in the West, an Afghan parliamentary probe has supported these claims, with estimates that as many as 20 U.S. soldiers were involved in the massacre.
Coalition Forces in Afghanistan are beginning to look increasingly like an army of occupation, just as the Russians were once. With the growing number of “green-on-blue” attacks threatening to undermine the very foundation of the international Coalition’s campaign in the country.