Dempsey in Kabul for talks on ‘insider attacks’
KABUL (PAN): Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived in Kabul for talks with Afghan officials on Monday, a day after two men in Afghan police uniforms shot at US troops, killing one and injuring another in southern Kandahar province .
Dempsey, who arrived at the Bagram air base, north of capital Kabul, in the early hours of Monday, is expected to meet NATO and Afghan military officials including the top US commander in the county, Gen. John R. Allen.
“I'm returning to Kabul next week to talk with Gen. Allen and some of our new commanders about how to continue to make the ANSF stronger and the Taliban weaker,” Dempsey told the joint news conference with US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“We'll discuss our exhaustive efforts at every echelon to confront the insider attack,” he said, adding that the commander of US and NATO forces had convened a meeting of senior military leaders on the rising green-on-blue assaults.
Sunday's shooting brings to 32 the number of reported “green-on-blue attacks” in 2012. At least 40 coalition forces have been killed in such incidents this year, including 26 Americans.
At least ten Western forces have been killed in insider attacks in just two weeks.
The international military coalition in Afghanistan confirmed the latest "insider attack" that took place in Spin Boldak border town on Sunday evening. The alliance would not confirm the nationalities of Western forces who came under attack.
One of the attackers was killed on Sunday when ISAF troops returned fire, but the other escaped the scene.
Afghan forces are expected to take over security for the country by the end of 2014, when the majority of international combat forces are scheduled to leave. The surge in violence by Afghan allies against their international partners has raised doubts about the ability of the two forces to work together at a key transition time.
The shooting comes just days after the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar claimed that militants had successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces to carry out such attacks.
On Saturday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to encourage him to work with US commanders to ensure more rigorous vetting of Afghan recruits.
On Friday it was disclosed that US troops have been ordered to carry loaded weapons at all times in Afghanistan, even when they are on their bases, as a precaution against such attacks.
Panetta announced last week that new counter-intelligence measures had been adopted during the past year to try and prevent the green-on-blue attacks. While he acknowledged that some of the incidents have been connected to insurgent groups, he maintained that the vast majority appear to be carried out by individuals with no known links to, or coordination with, the Taliban or other militant organizations.
: rgb(0� )HgT�CTriant: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 19px; orphans: 2; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: auto; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(254, 254, 254); ">Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
Including Sunday's deaths, at least 41 international troops have been killed so far this month in Afghanistan.
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