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Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 2 U.S. Troops

Shooter was bodyguard Afghanistan’s second ranking intelligence official

Afghans stand at the scene where an guard opened fire at a NATO-escorted reconstruction convoy in Dara, Panjshir province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, July 9, 2011. An Afghan guard opened fire at a NATO-escorted reconstruction convoy after an argument Saturday, killing a service member and a civilian working for the coalition before being killed by return fire, a provincial police chief said. (Photo credit: Stringer / AP)

The Associated Press and NBC News via
July 9, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan guard on Saturday shot dead two NATO troops accompanying a reconstruction team convoy traveling in a northern province, police said.

Police chief Gen. Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh said the shooting took place in the Darah district of Panjshir province, about 62 miles north of the capital, Kabul.

Jangalbagh said the shooter was a bodyguard working for the country’s second highest-ranking intelligence official.

He said the shooter stopped the convoy, engaged in an argument with NATO troops and opened fire.

Jangalbagh said another NATO soldier fired back and killed the shooter. …

An Afghan government official, who did not want to be named, told NBC News that the two NATO soldiers who were killed were Americans….

Full story


7/10/2011 Update

3 NATO Troops Die; 6 Abducted Afghans Killed

By Rahim Faiez

July 10, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — A spate of attacks across Afghanistan on Sunday killed three NATO service members, an Afghan government official and three police officers, officials said.

Meanwhile, officials said that insurgents have killed six Afghan deminers from a group of 32 that was kidnapped last week in the country’s southwest.

Bodies of five of the missing deminers were recovered and local officials were able to confirm that at least one more was killed, said Farah province’s deputy police chief, Mohammad Ghaws Malyar. All of the dead had been beheaded, he said.

The group of Afghan de-miners were ambushed July 6 while driving to a work site in the province. Two have been released with the help of local tribal elders, Malyar said.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb attack in southern Helmand province killed a Danish soldier who was on patrol, while two other NATO service members were killed in insurgent attacks in the south and east, according to NATO and the Danish government. …

The latest deaths bring to 15 the number of international service members killed so far this month. So far this year, 286 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan.

To the northwest, an Afghan district government’s top official was killed by a roadside bomb while driving to his office in what appeared to be a targeted attack.

The bomb was remotely detonated as the vehicle carrying Mohammad Dawood, the chief of Muqur district in Badghis province, passed by. Dawood was killed in the blast and four others in the vehicle were wounded, said Sharafuddin Majidi, a provincial government spokesman. …

And in the volatile southern city of Kandahar, a roadside bomb killed three police officers early Sunday, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

The attacks followed at least two sizable battles with insurgents on Saturday. Four Taliban fighters were killed in daylong fighting in Ghazni province in the east, said Sayed Abrar Agha, the head of a group that coordinates provincial security operations with international forces. …

Full story


7/11/2011 Update

Gunfight in Afghanistan Kills Iowa Soldier, Wounds Another

Left: Sgt. 1st Class Terryl L. Pasker, 39, of Cedar Rapids, who was killed July 9, 2011, in Panjshir province, Afghanistan. Right: Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle of Marshalltown, who was wounded in Afghanistan on July 9, 2011. He was driving an armored vehicle and exchanged fire with an Afghan security officer who authorities say had just shot and killed Sgt. 1st Class Terryl Pasker of Cedar Rapids. (Photo credit: DoD Des Moines Register)

By Tony Leys
July 10, 2011

An Iowa National Guard soldier from Cedar Rapids was one of two Americans shot and killed by a national policeman in Afghanistan on Saturday. Another Iowa soldier was wounded as he exchanged fire with the attacker.

The dead Iowa soldier was identified Sunday night as Sgt. 1st Class Terry Pasker, 39, of Cedar Rapids. The wounded soldier, Master Sgt. Todd Eipperle of Marshalltown, killed the attacker during the gunfight, officials said. …

The second American killed in Saturday’s attack was a civilian law-enforcement official, said Col. Gregory Hapgood, a Guard spokesman. The colonel said he didn’t know the man’s identity or home state.

The incident happened in Panjshir province, one of the most peaceful areas of Afghanistan. Panjshir is a small province north of Kabul that has long resisted the Taliban. It is considered so safe that U.S. soldiers often walk around without wearing helmets or body armor, and they don’t routinely ride in the large, heavily armored trucks American soldiers use in most other parts of the country.

Hapgood said he didn’t know whether the Iowa soldiers were wearing protective equipment. He said the soldiers were riding in two armored pickup trucks, which are commonly used in Panjshir, and they were on their way to a development project.

He said Eipperle drove the lead truck through an impromptu checkpoint, and saw the Afghan police officer wave down the second truck. The officer fired through the driver’s side window, killing Pasker and the American civilian, he said. Eipperle jumped out of his truck and exchanged fire with the gunman. Hapgood said he didn’t know the extent of Eipperle’s injuries, but he said the wounded soldier was being treated at a hospital in Afghanistan. …

Pasker is survived by his wife, Erica; his parents, Mary and David Pasker of Blairstown; a brother, Andrew of Lisbon; and two sisters, Christine Ross of Oakland, Tenn., and Rebecca Southard of Salem, Ore. …

Pasker had been in the military since 1990, and this was his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. …

Full story


8/17/2012 Update

What’s Leading Afghan Troops to Turn on Coalition Forces?


Attacks on US troops by Afghan forces worsening (MSNBC “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Aug. 17, 2012) — NBC’s Atia Abawai explains what’s behind the worsening attacks on U.S. military personnel by Afghan security and military to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. (03:41)

Analysis by NBC News’ Atia Abawi

August 16, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — A group of U.S. Marines in Helmand province was invited to dinner by a local police commander and his men late last week.  A little after midnight, under the dark Afghan sky, the Marines left the police compound and were shot in the back as they walked away. Three were killed.

Last week, seven Americans lost their lives after Afghans they were working with turned their weapons on them.

The military is now designating these incidents in which Afghan troops turn on coalition counterparts as “insider attacks,” (they were once called “green-on-blue” incidents) to account for the non-security personnel also involved in the assaults.

Insider attacks are now at the highest level they have been since the start of the war.

In 2007 and 2008 there were four such attacks and four deaths.

So far this year, there have already been 29 incidents in which Afghans turned their weapons on their coalition partners, killing 37.  That’s compared with a total of 21 incidents, in which 35 were killed, in all of 2011.

The spike has startled many and brought calls to find the catalyst for the deadly problem.

Who or what is to blame?

One group that would seem like the obvious culprit is the Taliban. They have claimed to infiltrate the Afghan National Security Forces, consisting of both the military and police, to help kill NATO troops from the inside.

Last year, the group called on more Afghans in uniform to join their cause and turn their weapons on the “foreign invaders” because of their access and proximity.

NATO does not deny some of the attacks have been from Taliban insurgency infiltration – but they attribute the trend to more than that.

“There was infiltration; that is correct, we can acknowledge that,” said Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force based in Kabul.  However, he said most of the attacks could be blamed on more basic warfare issues.

“The main reasons for those green on blue incidents are personal grievances, stress situations and what we call battle fatigue,” Katz said.

He attributes about 10 percent of the insider attacks to Taliban infiltration, and blames the remaining 90 percent on individual motives. …

Cultural divide

A former commander of the Afghan Border Police, Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil, blames the attacks on a disrespect of the Afghan culture by foreign forces.

“The main reason for these attacks is that the foreign troops have on many occasions humiliated the Afghan culture and religion,” Amarkhil said.  “They’ve entered Afghan homes without permission, killed innocent civilians, they’ve bombarded wedding parties, they’ve entered our mosques with dogs, burned the Holy Quran. All of these are the factors that have contributed to the Afghan army or police being infiltrated by people who have been humiliated by the foreign troops.” …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Image: Buddy W. McLain
An Army carry team with the transfer case containing the remains of Pvt. Buddy W. McLain, one of six U.S. soldiers killed by a rogue Afghan policeman, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010. (Photo credit: Steve Ruark / AP)

Two U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Over Koran Burning (Feb. 24, 2012)

Rogue Afghan Shoots U.S. Trainers (April 27, 2011)

Afghan Policeman Kills U.S. Troops (Dec. 1, 2010)

Reported Fragging in Iraq (Sept. 27, 2010)

Iraqi Soldier Guns Down U.S. Troops (Sept. 8, 2010)

Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Troop (Dec. 29, 2009)

GI Opens Fire on U.S. Troops in Iraq (May 12, 2009)

Iraq Insurgent Infiltration (May 2, 2009)

Iraqi Soldier Kills U.S. Troops (Nov. 13, 2008)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — July 9, 2010

“Rise of the New Right” — Part 3

“The Tea Party Movement” — The Tea Party fights to be a political contender. (05:53)

One year ago today, I featured Part 3 of “The Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews,” titled “The Tea Party Movement.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — July 9, 2009

Saddam Feared Iran More Than U.S.

Image: Saddam Hussein
In 2003, Saddam Hussein told FBI agent George Piro he falsely allowed the world to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, according to the agent’s notes. (Photo credit: Pool via AP)

Two years ago today, on July 9, 2009, I reported that declassified notes of FBI interviews with Saddam Hussein in 2004 proved Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion in 2003, but that Saddam falsely allowed the world to believe Iraq had WMD because he feared revealing his weakness to Iran, the hostile neighbor he considered a bigger threat than the U.S.

8 Responses to “Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » U.S. Soldiers Posed With Body Parts of Afghan Suicide Bombers Says:

    […] A spike in so-called green-on-blue attacks — by Afghan army and police on U.S. and other foreign forces — has stoked concern that some of that anger is spilling over into the security forces and turning them against their Western allies. […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Afghan Policeman Kills US Troops Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Rogue Afghan Shoots U.S. Trainers Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Afghan Soldier Kills U.S. Troop Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Two American Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Over Koran Burning Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  6. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Setback for U.S. in Afghan War Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  7. Immelman vs. Bachmann » Blog Archive » Afghanistan ‘Green-on-Blue’ Insider Attacks Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

  8. The Immelman Turn » Blog Archive » American Killed by Rogue Afghan Worker Inside Kabul CIA Office Says:

    […] Afghan Guard Turns Gun on Americans (July 9, 2011) […]

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