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5 NATO Soldiers, Senior Intelligence Official Killed in Afghanistan Attacks

August 3-4, 2011

Three NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 4, 2011 at 1:59 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 4 (UPI) --

Two NATO soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan, the military said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the two died Wednesday but gave no other details, CNN reported.

Also on Wednesday, another NATO solider died but CNN reported it was from non-battle related injuries. No other details were available.


Afghan official dies in blast; 2 NATO troops killed in attacks

By David Ariosto, CNN August 4, 2011 5:01 a.m. EDT

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) --

A senior Afghan intelligence official was killed Thursday when a bomb exploded in the country's northern Kunduz province, according to a provincial council chief.

Payenda Khan -- who headed up a district in Kunduz for the National Directorate of Security -- was killed, and three children were injured in the blast, said Mahbobullah Mahbob.

Khan was killed in the Afghan district of Bander Khanabad, and the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

His death is latest in a series of high-level officials who have recently been killed across the country.

Ex-Afghan spy chief talks

The most high-profile strike occurred in July, when the Taliban also claimed responsibility for the death of the president's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai.

The Kandahar provincial council chief was considered an influential power-broker and key presidential ally in the country's southern provinces.

Last week, militants stormed the compound of the governor of Afghanistan's Uruzgan province.

A least 19 people were killed and 37 wounded, including three police officers, in that attack.

The governor, Muhammad Omar Shirzad, managed to escape after being surrounded by security guards while a gun battle raged for several hours.

Elsewhere Thursday, two NATO service members were killed in eastern Afghanistan, according to an International Security Assistance Force statement.

One soldier was killed when a man wearing an Afghan National Police uniform turned his weapon against the service member.

The second person died from a separate insurgent attack, NATO reported.

Meanwhile, coalition forces say they captured a senior Haqqani leader, responsible for more than 250 fighters, in the southeastern province of Paktiya.

The Haqqani network is an insurgent group loosely affiliated with the Taliban, and is believed to operate out of Pakistan's frontier territories.

Last month, coalition forces reported a day-long fire fight in a "known Haqqani network" area in southeastern Afghanistan that left at least 50 alleged insurgents dead.


NATO says man in Afghan police uniform kills 1 coalition soldier; insurgents kill another

By Associated Press, Published: August 3 |

Updated: Thursday, August 4, 6:08 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan —

A man in an Afghan police uniform on Thursday shot dead a NATO service member in the east of the country, the second such killing in less than a month, the alliance said.

Separately, another NATO service member died following an insurgent attack, also Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, the volatile second front of the nearly decade-long war in this country. Most of the fighting takes place in southern Afghanistan.

NATO did not provide details or nationalities of the two deceased, pending notification of their relatives.

The international coalition said the first killing occurred “when an individual wearing an Afghan National Police uniform turned his weapon against” the NATO soldier. NATO said it was assessing the incident.

It did not say if the man was a police officer or someone disguised as one.

Since March 2009, at least 40 coalition troops have been killed in more than 20 shootings by members of the Afghan security forces or assailants wearing Afghan uniforms.

In about half the cases, attackers impersonated Afghan policemen or soldiers, coalition officials have said.

Afghan uniforms are easily obtained at stores in the capital of Kabul, despite efforts to crack down on such illegal sales. The other half of the shootings have been attributed to combat stress or unknown reasons.

Last week, the Interior Ministry said it raided an unlicensed factory in Kabul that was making uniforms and other military accessories. Kabul police denied reports that it was manufacturing uniforms for the Taliban, but did say the products were being sold at bazaars around the city.

Thursday’s deaths raised the number of foreign troops killed this year to 330. Last year, 404 died in the first seven months of the year.

On Wednesday, three members of the U.S.-led military coalition were killed. Two died in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan where foreign forces are trying to hold the ground they seized from Taliban insurgents in major offensives over the past year, NATO said. The third soldier died in a noncombat-related incident in east Afghanistan.

Insurgents have often worn uniforms of Afghan security forces as disguises to get inside heavily guarded military bases and target international and government forces. Enlisted Afghan soldiers and police also have turned on their NATO and Afghan colleagues — sometimes because arguments have inflamed tensions or because of an alliance or sympathy with the Taliban.

On July 16, a British soldier was shot and killed by an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform when he turned his weapon against him in Gereshk district in Helmand province. The Taliban said the assailant, who escaped, was a sleeper agent who had infiltrated the Afghan military.

In May, two U.S. service members were killed by an Afghan policeman in Helmand province. The two were mentoring an Afghan National Civil Order brigade and were shot and killed inside the police compound as they sat down to eat lunch.

Since March 2009, at least 40 coalition troops have been killed in more than 20 shootings by members of the Afghan security forces or assailants wearing Afghan uniforms.

In other violence, an employee with the Afghan national intelligence service was killed Thursday when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northern Kunduz province, according to provincial spokesman Mubobullah Sayedi. Local police said three children were wounded in the blast just outside Kunduz city and that one of them died on the way to hospital.

And in the eastern Logar province, insurgents used rocket propelled grenades to blow up three tankers loaded with fuel for coalition forces, said provincial police chief Gullam Sakhi Roowgh Lawanai. No one was injured in the attack.


Associated Press Writer Patrick Quinn contributed to this report from Kabul.

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