Afghan policewoman kills NATO adviser in Kabul

AFP, KABUL

Tue, Dec 25, 2012 - Page 6

A female Afghan police officer yesterday shot dead a foreign civilian adviser in Kabul police headquarters, officials said, in the first “insider” attack to be carried out by a woman.

It is the latest in a series of insider attacks that have seriously undermined trust between NATO forces and their Afghan allies in the fight against hardline Islamist Taliban insurgents.

A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the victim, a civilian adviser, died of his wounds and the female police officer who shot him had been detained.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seidiqqi confirmed the incident and said an investigation was under way.

A senior security official speaking to reporters anonymously said the victim was a male adviser from NATO and the incident took place at Kabul police headquarters.

The officer was arrested by her other colleagues after the shooting, the official said.

NATO is aiming to train 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014 as it transfers all security responsibilities to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s local forces.

The Afghan conflict has seen a surge in insider attacks this year, with more than 50 ISAF troops killed by their colleagues in the Afghan army and police.

NATO says about 25 percent of the attacks are caused by Taliban infiltrators, but the rest stem from personal animosities and cultural differences between Western troops and their Afghan allies.

In the most recent previous attack, a British soldier was killed by an Afghan soldier on a base in the country’s south on Nov. 11.

The unprecedented number of attacks, referred to as “green-on-blue” by the military, comes at a critical moment in the 11-year war, as NATO troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

NATO top brass have admitted the seriousness of the phenomenon.

ISAF commander General John Allen has said that just as homemade bombs were the signature weapon of the Iraq war, in Afghanistan “the signature attack that we’re beginning to see is going to be the insider attack.”