An Afghan local policeman killed two soldiers with the NATO military coalition in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, the latest in a surge of insider attacks that are fracturing trust between Afghan forces and their international partners.
The shooting came a day after insurgents in the same region stormed a sprawling British base, killing two U.S. Marines and wounding several other international troops in an attack inspired by an anti-Islam film produced in the United States and the presence on the compound of a high-profile target, Britain’s Prince Harry.
NATO would not say exactly where the latest insider attack occurred or if the gunman was a bonafide Afghan policeman or an insurgent who infiltrated the force. Police inspector Hismatullah Baulatzia in the city of Lashkar Gah said the attack happened there, in the capital of Helmand province. It was not clear, he said, if the gunman was a member of the Local Afghan Police, a village-level fighting force overseen by the central government.
So far this year, 47 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead and raising concerns that the country will not be able to take charge of its own security as planned by 2014.