2 US troops die in apparent Afghan insider attack

Topics: From the Wires,

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed two American service members Thursday, the U.S. military said, in what appeared to be the latest in a rash of attacks on international forces this year by their Afghan partners.

It was not immediately clear if the attacker was an Afghan police officer or an insurgent who had donned the disguise to get close to the American troops, said Maj. Lori Hodge, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The assailant killed the service members in the southern Uruzgan province in the late morning, she added. A statement from the U.S. force in Afghanistan says the attack is being investigated.

Provincial government spokesman Abdullah Himmat said the assault happened near an Afghan police compound in Khas Uruzgan district.

Before Thursday’s assault, 53 international troops had been killed in insider attacks from Afghan soldiers or police so far this year, according to the NATO military coalition.

The Taliban have said they are using the attacks as a specific strategy to drive a wedge between the international coalition and the Afghans. On Wednesday, ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, they called for an increase in such assaults.

The killings have stretched to the breaking point a partnership that U.S. and NATO officials consider a key part their exit plan — preparing the Afghans to take over responsibility for their country’s security in just over two years’ time. The program, where Afghans and international troops are supposed to work “shoulder to shoulder,” is now being reevaluated.

The majority of international combat troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by end-2014, although trainers and advisers are expected to remain longer.


Associated Press Writer Mirwais Khan contributed from Kandahar.

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