Afghan police officer kills 2 U.S. troops

Aug. 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- An Afghan local police officer shot and killed two U.S. soldiers in Farah province Friday, the International Security Assistance Force said.

The police officer was shot and killed, the ISAF said in a release.

"Officials are investigating the incident to determine the facts," the release said.

The attack Friday was the 30th time this year that Afghan security forces working with coalition troops turned their weapons on their allies, CBS News reported. At least 39 coalition forces were killed in so-called green-on-blue attacks so far in 2012, including 23 Americans, NATO said.

Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taliban leader, released a statement Thursday claiming militants successfully infiltrated Afghan security forces to carry out green-on-blue attacks.

"Thanks to the infiltration of the mujahedin [holy warriors], they are able to [safely] enter bases, offices and intelligence centers of the enemy," Omar said in the statement.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced this week new counterintelligence measures were adopted to try to prevent green-on-blue attacks, CBS reported. While acknowledging some of the incidents were orchestrated by insurgent groups, Panetta said the majority of the attacks appear to have been carried out by people who have no known affiliations to the Taliban or other militant groups.

U.S. military officials say Afghan security personnel -- particularly the fledgling police force -- often fail to live up to Afghan and U.S. security standards, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the top U.S. commander in southwestern Afghanistan, said: "We have to have better leadership out of our Afghan leaders. There are some things they need to step up to the plate and do now better than they've done."

Gurganus said Afghan leaders need to hold subordinate commanders "accountable for these people who are in and out of police stations."

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