Afghan Soldier Kills Three U.S. Troops
Kabul, August 10 (RHC)-- Three U.S. soldiers were killed Friday when a man in an Afghan police uniform turned his weapon on them, according to the U.S. military command in Afghanistan. It was the third so-called "green-on-blue" attack in less than a week.
A spokeswoman for the occupation forces, Lori Hodge, said that "an individual in an Afghan uniform fired on U.S. forces in Sangin district of Helmand province," acknowledging that there were three U.S. fatalities.
Two Afghan officials told AFP that the soldiers were killed by an Afghan police officer who had invited them for a meal at his checkpost in the southern province. The officials said that the police officer opened fire on the Special Forces soldiers, killing three and wounding another, before escaping.
An increasing number of Afghan soldiers and police have turned their weapons against NATO occupation forces in recent days. On Tuesday, a U.S. soldier was killed in the east when two men in Afghan army uniforms opened fire; on Thursday, an Afghan soldier was killed after turning his weapon on NATO troops, also in the east.
The latest deaths take the green-on-blue toll this year to around 33, in some 23 such incidents, according to an AFP tally. Some of the attacks are claimed by the Taliban, who say they have infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces, but many are attributed to cultural differences and antagonism between local and U.S.-led allied forces.
NATO has reportedly taken a number of security measures to prevent attacks against its troops, including assigning "guardian angels" -- soldiers who watch over their fellow troops as they sleep.