Monday Aug 20, 201208:18 PM GMT
US Gen. Dempsey in Afghanistan over rise in insider attacks
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey (file photo)
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey (file photo)
Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:1AM
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The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has flown to Afghanistan due to an increase in this year's death toll from "insider attacks" by Afghans on US-led forces.


General Martin Dempsey, who flew to the US airbase in Bagram, said that the rise in insider attacks would be a key focus of his meetings with US-led coalition and Afghan officers.

His visit came as the so-called green-on-blue attacks, in which Afghan forces turn their weapons against foreign forces occupying their country, are on the rise.

In the latest incident, an Afghan soldier opened fire on foreign forces, killing a US-led soldier in the southern Kandahar province.

The number of the green-on-blue attacks has increased in 2012. At least 40 US-led soldiers have been killed in such attacks so far this year.

Earlier in the day, US General John Allen, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the attacks.

On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta telephoned Karzai and expressed concerns over the insider attacks, and asked the Afghan president to work closely with General Allen.

The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the United States and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.

According to the website icasualties.org, over 300 foreign troops, mostly US personnel, have lost their lives in Afghanistan in 2012.

A total of 566 US-led forces died in Afghanistan in 2011. However, 2010 remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties, with a death toll of 711.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence of about 130,000 US-led forces in the country.

MN/AS
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