Suspected insider attack injures 2 ISAF troops

Afghan National Police forces gather on the parade deck at the Lashkar Gah Training Center (LTC), Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 25, 2013. Two coalition servicemembers were wounded on June 23, 2014 when an Afghan policeman opened fire during a meeting at Paktia provincial police headquarters in Gardez, officials said.


By JOSH SMITH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 23, 2014

KABUL — Two coalition servicemembers were wounded on Monday when an Afghan policeman opened fire during a meeting at a provincial police headquarters, officials said.

A spokesman for the NATO-led coalition said the incident is under investigation and refused to identify the shooter, but Afghan officials said he was a policeman. The attacker was killed during the exchange at the Paktia provincial police headquarters in Gardez.

“This incident took place around 11:30 at the front gate of the compound,” Azimullah, a spokesman for the Paktia provincial police chief, told Stars and Stripes.

“This policeman was on duty and as these advisers arrived at the gate there was shooting and two advisers were wounded. The policeman was killed. We have started the investigation, but so far we do not know the reason for the shooting or who fired first,” Azimullah said. Like many Afghans, he uses only one name.

A spike in such insider attacks in 2012 prompted the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to enact stricter security measures to protect themselves from the Afghans they were working with.

In recent months, the number of insider attacks has dropped significantly as protective measures were continued and fewer international troops worked directly with Afghan forces.

In February, two U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed and four others were wounded when a suspected member of the Afghan security forces opened fire on them. In April, an Associated Press journalist was killed and another seriously wounded when a police commander opened fire on them inside a heavily guarded security forces base in eastern Afghanistan.

The issue of safety for international advisers will linger if Afghanistan agrees to a U.S. plan that would keep thousands of American troops in the country until the end of 2016.

Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.

Twitter: @joshjonsmith