Three years of Afghan troops attacking ISAF forces

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After more than a dozen attacks on NATO forces by Afghan troops, the partnership between them is uneasy. (Associated Press photo)

An email today from retired Marine 1st Sgt. John Bernard prompted me to think that it’d be a good idea to share on Battle Rattle the recent history of Afghan forces attacking the NATO troops training them. It’s an uneasy partnership that I covered in Afghanistan, and have continued to take an interest in as the attacks mount.

The most recent attack occurred Monday in Uruzgan province. A member of the Afghan National Army allegedly shot an Australian military trainer three times, killing him. It’s at least the 17th time that coalition troops have been killed by Afghans in uniform since the beginning of 2009.

What follows is a list of incidents since the beginning of 2009 involving coalition troops and Afghan forces, or insurgents who dressed like Afghan troops. That’s not to say all Afghan forces are bad, or that the training mission hasn’t yielded some successes. It’s also important to note the sacrifices made, however:

2011
May 30 — Uruzgan province
An Afghan soldier opens fire on an Australian military trainer, killing him. The suspect flees successfully.

May 12 — Helmand province
A member of the Afghan Civil Order National Police opens fire on Marines at a police training center in Lashkar Gah, killing two and wounding four. The suspect is wounded and taken into custody.

April 27 — Kabul
An Afghan pilot opens fire at meeting at Kabul International Airport, killing eight U.S. airmen and a U.S. contractor. Suspect killed.

April 16 — Laghman province
A suicide bomber in an Afghan National Army uniform kills six U.S. soldiers, four Afghan troops and an interpreter. Several others are wounded.

April 4 — Kandahar province
An Afghan soldier opens fire on vehicles of the International Security Assistance Force. No casualties are reported.

April 4 — Faryab province
An Afghan Border Police officer shoots and kills two U.S. soldiers in the provincial capital, Maimana. The suspect also is killed.

Feb. 18 — Baghlan province
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills 3 German soldiers returning from a patrol, and wounds at least six more troops. The suspect is killed in a firefight.

Jan. 18 — Badghis province
An Afghan soldier fires shots at Italian soldiers, killing one and wounding 1. The suspect flees.

Jan. 15 — Helmand province
A Marine and an Afghan police officer argue in Sangin, leading the Afghan to point a rifle at the Marine. After he fails to obey orders to put the rifle down, the Marine kills the police officer.

2010
Dec. 5 — Paktika province
Two suicide bombers attack a bazaar outside a forward operating base, killing two U.S. soldiers and wounding six.

Nov. 29 — Nangarhar province
An Afghan Border Police officer engages coalition forces, killing six U.S. soldiers. The suspect also is killed.

Nov. 6 — Helmand province
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills two U.S. Marines, then flees.

Aug. 25 — Badghis
An Afghan police officer engages coalition forces during a mentoring session, killing two Spanish trainers. The suspect also is killed.

July 20 — Balkh province
Two U.S. contractors and two Afghan soldiers are killed by an Afghan army trainer inside a weapons training center. One NATO service member and one Afghan troop are wounded, and the suspect is killed.

July 13 — Helmand province
An Afghan soldier fires a rocket-propelled grenade in Nahr-e Saraj district, killing three British soldiers. The suspect flees.

2009
Dec. 29 — Badghis province
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills a U.S. soldier and wounds two Italian soldiers. The suspect is caught and sentenced to death by the Afghan court.

Nov. 3 — Helmand province
An Afghan police officer fires on British troops in Nad-e Ali, killing five and wounding six. Two Afghan police officers also are killed by the gunman, who flees.

Oct. 2 — Wardak province
An Afghan police officer engages U.S. soldiers on patrol, killing two and wounding four. The suspect flees.

March 27 — Balkh province
An Afghan soldier shoots and kills two U.S. naval officers and kills himself.

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It goes without saying: That’s an ugly list. If I’ve missed any similar attacks, please drop me a line.

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About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

3 Comments

  1. Dan, José,
    The terp wasn’t local, but a Spanish citizen born in Iran. Spain don’t use too much local terps on military operations.

    Also it was a complex attack, right after the killings, a “mob” tried to overrun the camp in Qalah-e-Naw, and launched incendiary devices to the helipad in that camp. With the two Officers and the Terp trapped in the camp and no way of callind a MEDEVAC helo, they had to wait for the situation to calm down before obtaining better medical treatment. And it was too late for them.

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