Afghan special forces soldier kills American ally

An Afghan special forces soldier killed an American when he opened fire on US troops in southern Afghanistan, military spokesmen said Thursday, the latest in a series of such attacks.

The soldier's death takes the toll of foreign troops killed by Afghans they were working with to 18 this year -- including 10 Americans and five French trainers -- in 11 separate attacks.

"An officer of the Afghan special forces opened fire on a group of American soldiers in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, killing one US soldier," regional Afghan corps commander Abdul Hamid Hamid told AFP.

"The officer was himself killed when the Americans returned fire," he said.

A spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan and a defence official in Washington confirmed the incident, without giving details.

The shooting is the latest in a series of so-called green-on-blue attacks in which Afghan soldiers have turned their weapons against NATO troops helping Kabul fight a decade-long insurgency by hardline Taliban Islamists.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is training Afghans to take responsibility for security for the whole country by the end of 2014 when most foreign troops pull out, has said the deaths sap spirits among its soldiers.

"Although the incidents are small in number we are aware of the gravity they have as an effect on morale," ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson said in Kabul earlier this month.

"Every single incident has an out-of-proportion effect on morale and that goes for coalition forces as it goes for Afghan national security forces."

Some of the attacks are claimed by the Taliban, who say they have infiltrated Afghan army ranks, but many are attributed to cultural differences and antagonism between the allied forces.

Recruits to the Afghan forces undergo an eight-step vetting process carried out by Afghan authorities, including identification verification, recommendations and criminal background checks.

But Jacobson said investigations into the shootings had found lapses.

"What we have found in individual cases is that there was a mistake done here, or there, or there," he told reporters.

"The identity papers weren't checked properly, the papers that were coming from village elders were not sufficient, drug tests were not taken regularly or sufficiently or something like that."

Among new measures taken to avoid similar incidents, Afghanistan's intelligence services are hiding agents among recruits at the country's army and police training schools to try to spot potential killers, NATO said.

ISAF has also taken several security measures in response to the shootings, including assigning "guardian angels" -- soldiers who watch over their comrades as they sleep.

Relations between the US and its Afghan allies have also been rocked this year by incidents involving US troops.

A video emerged of US forces urinating on Taliban corpses, copies of the Koran were burnt on a major US military base and an American sergeant has been charged with 17 counts of murder over a massacre of civilians.

ISAF has around 130,000 soldiers fighting alongside some 350,000 Afghan security personnel in a bid to help President Hamid Karzai's government reverse the Taliban-led insurgency.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

  • Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools
    Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools

    A bill in the Senate is seeking to require the planting of trees in parks, school grounds, vacant lots and other urban areas nationwide. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said Bill No. 2566, the Greening Act of 2015, supports and complements the government’s National Greening Program to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of land from 2011 to 2016. “The Philippines was once known for its vast and lush forests,”he said. The Philippines was also named one of the world’s 10 most threatened …

  • ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’
    ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’

    There is no need to convene the National Security Council at the moment, despite China’s continued provocative activities in the West Philippine Sea. “At this time, the President does not see any need really to convene the NSC,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte yesterday told a news briefing, carried live by state-run PTV-4 and radio station dzRB. …

  • Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea
    Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea

    Fishing is the only livelihood available for Efren Montehermoso Jr. But after a huge Chinese ship drove away his small fishing boat near the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, he promised never to return to the area for fear of his life. Montehermoso of Barangay Cato in Infanta town was among the group of 80 Filipino fishermen driven away by Chinese coast guard on April 9. Montehermoso said they went to the disputed area not to fish but just to seek temporary …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options