Afghan policeman kills 2 U.S. troops in latest insider attack

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) -- An Afghan police officer opened fire Friday at foreign troops in western Afghanistan, killing two American service members, the U.S. military said. Several others were injured in a separate insider attack in the country's southern region.

The first attack took place at an inauguration ceremony in Farah province, located in Afghanistan's relatively peaceful west, when a member of the Afghan Local Police force turned his weapon against U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) service members. Two Americans were killed.

The attacker, identified by a Taliban spokesman as Mohammad Ismael, had joined the local police force just last week and was given his weapon moments before he opened fire. "The attacker was shot and killed," USFOR-A said in a brief statement. "Officials are investigating the incident to determine the facts and as more information becomes available it will be released as appropriate."

Just hours later, a similar attack took place when a member of the Afghan National Army turned his weapon against coalition forces in the Zharay district of Kandahar province, located in the country's volatile south. "There were no ISAF fatalities," said ISAF spokesman Captain Dan Einert.

Einert confirmed multiple foreign and Afghan service members were wounded but could not say how many due to ISAF policy. "There were ISAF and ANSF wounded during the attack and all of them were taken to an ISAF medical facility for treatment," he said. "It is ISAF policy not to discuss the exact number of wounded or their condition."

The spokesman said the attacker was shot and later died of his injuries, but gave no other details. "Officials are investigating the incident to determine the facts and as more information becomes available it will be released as appropriate," Einert added.

Friday's shootings are the latest in an increasingly frequent series of attacks by Afghan security forces against foreign troops. At least 41 foreign and Afghan security forces have been killed by members of the Afghan security forces in 32 incidents this year alone. Such incidents were virtually unheard of just a few years ago.

There are currently more than 129,000 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.

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