Afghan policeman fires at Nato troops
on 13/08/2012 15:02:22
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting in the eastern province of Nangarhar, saying the attacker was a police officer who had been in contact with them before the assault.
A recent rash of "green-on-blue" attacks, in which Afghan security forces or attackers wearing their uniforms turn their guns on the coalition troops training them, has raised worries about a deterioration of trust between the two sides, just over two years before Nato is set to turn over security to local forces and pull out most of its troops.
Taliban insurgents are eager to exploit such a rift.
The trend also raises renewed concern that insurgents may be infiltrating the Afghan army and police, despite intensified screening.
Nato said an initial investigation indicated the attacker was an Afghan police officer, though the man was wearing civilian clothes.
He said there were no Nato deaths but would not say if any international service members were wounded in the attack.
At least one Afghan intelligence agent was wounded in the shooting and the gunman escaped, according to according to the Nangarhar provincial governor.
Coalition officials say a few rogue policemen and soldiers should not taint the overall integrity of the Afghan security forces, and that the attacks have not impeded plans to hand over security to Afghan forces - which are supposed to reach a strength of 352,000 in a few months - by the end of 2014.
Green-on-blue attacks are on the rise. So far this year, 34 coalition troops have been killed in 27 attacks, compared to 11 attacks and 20 deaths in 2011.
At least seven American service members have been killed in the past week by either their Afghan counterparts or attackers wearing their uniforms.
Of those, six died in two separate attacks on Friday in different areas of the volatile southern province of Helmand.