Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Insider Killings Reach Milestone in Afghanistan 2 Weekend Attacks Kill 6 Military Coalition Members

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Insider Killings Reach Milestone in Afghanistan 2 Weekend Attacks Kill 6 Military Coalition Members

Article excerpt

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan security forces killed six service members from the U.S.-led military coalition in a pair of attacks in southern Afghanistan this weekend, pushing the number of international troops killed by Afghan forces in a single year past 50 for the first time.

This year's toll from what are known as insider attacks has become one of the most visible signs of the challenges faced by the NATO-led coalition as it nears the end of its role in the Afghanistan war.

The coalition's ambition to leave behind a stable Afghanistan that can fend off the Taliban hinges on readying the country's army and police for the task. Yet the spread of insider attacks has left coalition forces increasingly mistrustful of the Afghan forces they are training and fighting alongside. It also offered a window to the increasing resentment that many Afghans feel toward the massive foreign military presence here.

The second attack of the weekend, which took place Sunday in Zabul province, was the deadlier of the two latest incidents, with four coalition service members killed. The coalition said in a terse statement that the attack was "suspected to involve members of the Afghan police" and was under investigation.

Neither coalition nor Afghan officials offered the nationality of the troops killed, though most of the international forces in Zabul are American.

A day earlier, two British soldiers were killed in Helmand province. The coalition said the attacker was a member of the Afghan Local Police, a village militia force that created and largely trained by allied Special Forces to augment the Afghan army and police.

International troops at the scene quickly opened fire on the attacker, killing him, the coalition said.

Britain's Defense Ministry later said both of the dead soldiers were British, and that they were killed at a local police checkpoint in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand. …

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