Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • Video: No investigation apparent at site of downed Malaysian plane

    Read more

  • Washington Post correspondent and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Afghan ‘insider’ attack marks 2,000 US troop deaths

Latest update : 2012-09-30

The US military death toll from the Afghan war reached 2,000 on Saturday when a NATO soldier and civilian contractor were killed in the country’s Wardak province in a suspected insider attack.

A NATO soldier and a civilian contractor were killed in a suspected insider attack in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, the latest in a series described by a top US general as "the signature attack" of the Afghan war.

The shooting, which took place at an Afghan army checkpoint in Wardak province, marked the 2,000th death of a US serviceman in the long-running war, officials said.

The assault also resulted in Afghan army casualties, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Sunday, without providing further details.

The deaths followed "a verbal dispute" during a joint operation in Sayedabad district west of Kabul, the provincial governor's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP.

A joint assessment of the incident by ISAF and the Afghanistan National Army is under way.

The string of insider attacks is one of the greatest threats to NATO’s mission in the country, endangering a partnership key to training up Afghan security forces and withdrawing international troops.

Afghan soldiers and policemen - or militants in their uniforms - have gunned down more than 50 foreign troops so far this year, eroding the trust between coalition forces and their Afghan partners. An equal number of Afghan policemen and soldiers also died in these attacks, giving them reason as well to be suspicious of possible infiltrators within their ranks.

"I'm mad as hell about them, to be honest with you," top NATO commander General John Allen told CBS's "60 Minutes" programme recorded before the latest incident and scheduled to be aired Sunday.

"We're willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign, but we're not willing to be murdered for it," the commander said, according to excerpts of the interview released by the network.

Allen said that just as homemade bombs had become the signature weapon of the Iraq war, he believed that in Afghanistan, "the signature attack that we're beginning to see is going to be the insider attack".

Earlier this month, ISAF announced a scaling back of joint operations with its Afghan partners following a dramatic rise in such attacks, in which Afghan soldiers turn their weapons on their Western allies.

But US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that troops had resumed most joint operations with Afghan forces.

Panetta vowed that the insider threat would not derail plans to transfer security to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, paving the way for the withdrawal of most NATO combat forces.

"We must and we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect our forces. But I also want to underscore that we remain fully committed to our strategy of transitioning to Afghan security control," he said.

(FRANCE24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-09-30

  • AFGHANISTAN

    NATO axes Afghan joint patrols after ‘insider’ attacks

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Suicide bomber targets foreign minibus in Kabul

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    US soldiers killed in Afghanistan ‘insider’ attack

    Read more

COMMENT(S)