KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- Two coalition service members were killed in southern Afghanistan on Saturday when two men wearing Afghan police uniforms opened fire at them. It may be the latest event in a series of Afghan security forces turning their weapons against foreign troops.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said two of its service members were killed when two individuals wearing Afghan police uniforms opened fire at coalition service members, killing two of them. "One of the individuals who opened fire was killed when coalition forces returned fire; the second individual is being sought," the alliance said in a brief statement.
It was not immediately clear if the gunmen were official members of the police force or if they were insurgents who were simply dressed as police officers. However, a spokesman for police in Helmand province - where the shooting took place - said the gunmen are believed to have joined the force in 2011.
The nationalities of the victims were not immediately released, but Helmand province is home to mostly British service members. "The incident is under investigation," ISAF said, although other details about such incidents or the outcome of any investigation are rarely made public.
If Saturday's shooting is confirmed to have been carried out by Afghan police officers, it would add to an increasingly frequent series of attacks by Afghan security forces against foreign troops. At least 20 coalition service members have been killed by Afghan security forces this year alone, not including the victims of Saturday's attack.
On Friday morning, one American service member was killed and two others were injured when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them at a check-post in the Ghaziabad district of eastern Kunar province, reportedly after a verbal argument. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed one of its fighters was behind the shooting, although the insurgent group frequently claims credit for attacks or accidents it played no role in.
There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
(Copyright 2012 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.) http://wire.bnonews.com/#g58342