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Five US troops wounded in latest ‘green on blue’ attack in Afghanistan

KABUL — Five U.S. troops were wounded Tuesday in the second incident of Afghan security forces turning their weapons on their coalition counterparts in three days.

An Afghan National Army soldier shot the U.S. troops in the early evening at a military outpost in the Sayed Abad district of Wardak province, in eastern Afghanistan, according to officials with the International Security Assistance Force. The five troops were medically evacuated and are being treated at an ISAF hospital, though officials would not disclose the severity of their injuries. The shooter escaped.

On Sunday, an Afghan policeman shot and killed three British soldiers at a checkpoint in Helmand province. The shooter was arrested.

Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura, an ISAF spokesman, said the number of green on blue incidents is low relative to the number of Afghan troops and police working with ISAF forces, but said the coalition was continuing to work with their Afghan counterparts on safety measures when recruiting troops.

“First and foremost, ISAF is getting together with our Afghan National Security Partners on the vetting and process they use,” he said, adding, “What we’re trying to do is make sure that any of the mitigation does not damage the trust we’ve built between the (Afghan National Security Forces) and coalition units.”

Still, the green on blue attacks have been an alarming trend in recent months and has deeply strained relations between coalition and Afghan soldiers at a time when they are patrolling and training together more than ever.

At least 80 coalition troops have been killed by the Afghans they were working with, according to Pentagon statistics. Half of those attacks have occurred since May 2009.

druzinh@estripes.osd.mil

Twitter: @druzin_stripes

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