Afghan civilian kills three US soldiers on military base | News | DW | 11.08.2012
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Afghan civilian kills three US soldiers on military base

An Afghan civilian employed at a US military base has shot dead several American soldiers. Six US service members have been killed in rogue attacks by Afghans working for the NATO-led coalition in the past 24 hours.

An Afghan civilian employee at an American military base in the southern province of Helmand has gunned down three US soldiers, not long after a rogue Afghan policeman killed three special forces operators during a Ramadan meal.

The attack by the Afghan civilian occurred on Friday in the district of Garmsir, which is located in the same province as Sangin district, where the Afghan police officer killed three American comrades-in-arms.

"The shooter was not in uniform and our current reporting indicates he was a civilian employee authorized to be on the base, but there is no indication he was an Afghan service member," a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said of the Afghan civilian perpetrator.

Earlier on Friday, coalition forces and Afghan authorities reported that a police officer had invited four US special forces soldiers to a Ramadan meal. He then opened fire, killing three of them. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, claiming that the police officer had switched sides in the war.

"Let me clearly say that those two incidents clearly do not reflect the overall situation here in Afghanistan," chief ISAF spokesman Brigadier-General Gunter Katz told reporters on Saturday.

Recurring rogue attacks

According to NATO, Afghans nominally allied with the international coalition have launched 26 rogue attacks on foreign troops since January, killing 34 people. In 2011, there were 21 such attacks in which 35 people died.

"What we identified was that most of them were caused by personal grievances and stress situations," Katz told the AFP news agency.

NATO currently has 130,000 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, who partner closely with their Afghan colleagues to provide training. But recurring incidents of Afghans attacking their international comrades-in-arms have undermined trust between the two sides. Questions have also been raised as to whether Afghan security forces can maintain stability after international forces withdraw in 2014.

NATO spokesman Katz said that although the incidents were damaging, they were isolated.

"As we speak 500,000 soldiers and policemen are working together to contribute to a more secure and stable Afghanistan," the brigadier-general said.

"We are confident that the morale [among international troops] is still good and those incidents will not affect our transition process."

slk/tj (AFP, Reuters)