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NATO Cites Reasons Behind Rise in Afghan Insider Attacks

August 23, 2012

by VOA News

The commander of U.S. and NATO forces says the recent increase on so-called "green on blue attacks" in Afghanistan is not a result of an increase in Taliban infiltrators in the ranks of Afghan security forces.

Afghan security forces have killed 10 international troops, mostly Americans, in the past two weeks. At least 39 NATO service members have been killed in such attacks this year. "Green on blue" refers to a color coding system used by the military.

U.S. General John Allen told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday that roughly 25 percent of recent insider attacks may be a result of insurgent infiltration, impersonation and coercion, but that disagreements and animosity between the shooter and coalition forces also play a role. Allen said NATO is still looking into all of the possible reasons for insider attacks.

The commander also said the recent jump may have to do with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan falling in the middle of the fighting season, and the daily pressures on Afghan troops compounded with the sacrifices associated with fasting.

General Allen also said the recent spate of insider attacks has not prompted coalition forces to reduce contact with their Afghan counterparts. Instead, he said, NATO and Afghan troops must become more watchful for the emergence of a threat and be able to respond quickly.

On Wednesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed "foreign infiltration" of Afghan forces, but did not give details. General Allen said he was waiting for Afghan officials to provide intelligence to support that conclusion.

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