Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Yet Another Coalition Soldier Killed by Afghan

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Yet Another Coalition Soldier Killed by Afghan

Article excerpt

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed an international service member on Sunday, NATO said, raising the death toll to 10 in such attacks in the space of just two weeks.

The surge in violence by Afghan allies against their international partners has raised doubts about the ability of the two forces to work together at a key transition time. Afghan forces are expected to take over security for the country by the end of 2014, when the majority of international combat forces are scheduled to leave.

On the other side, a coalition airstrike killed dozens of Taliban militants, including one of their leaders, officials said.

Few details were immediately available about Sunday's killing of a coalition member in southern Afghanistan. NATO said only that they and Afghan authorities were investigating. Afghan officials could not be reached for comment.

The Taliban have been actively recruiting members of the Afghan security forces, saying in a statement last week that they considered these turncoat attacks a major part of their strategy against international forces.

Once an anomaly, these attacks have been climbing in recent months. There have been 30 such turncoat attacks so far this year, up from 11 in 2011.

On Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to encourage him to work with U.S. commanders to ensure more rigorous vetting of Afghan recruits.

On Friday it was disclosed that U.S. troops have been ordered to carry loaded weapons at all times in Afghanistan, even when they are on their bases. The order was a precaution against such insider attacks.

Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, called an urgent meeting of his generals on Wednesday to address the escalating death toll, The New York Times reported Sunday. In a room crowded with more than 40 commanders, the general underscored the need to quickly stop the bloodletting that is sapping morale, according to NATO officials. …

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