Afghan soldier kills three Nato police trainers
Guardian- An Afghan soldier shot dead three foreigners who were training police recruits in the western city of Herat on Sunday.
The shooting came at the end of a grim weekend for Nato, with five foreign soldiers killed by homemade bomb attacks across the south and east of the country. Five Afghan employees of a Nato base in central Wardak province were also abducted and murdered by insurgents, Afghanistan's Tolo television station reported.
The gunman, who targeted the police mentors – all civilians employed by Nato – was stationed at the regional police training centre on the outskirts of Herat. He was shot dead after he opened fire.
The Press Association on Monday quoted a Nato spokesman as saying that one of the dead was a British civilian contractor, while the Associated Press, quoting Afghan police sources, reported the three killed were all American.
"The attacker had been working in Herat for a year and a half. He was a guard at the police training centre," said the provincial police chief, Said Agha Saqeb.
An Afghan translator and another foreign trainer were injured in the attack, he added.
The attack was a rare jolt of violence for foreign troops stationed in Herat, a bustling commercial centre near the border with Iran, and the hub of one of Afghanistan's more peaceful regions.
Most government buildings in the city are guarded by razor wire and sandbags rather than the layers of blast walls that mark out official compounds in the capital, Kabul, and other more restive areas. At Camp Arena, soldiers said they had not heard alarm sirens at the base for several months.
The gunman was from neighbouring Badghis province, Saqeb said. Dotted with steep valleys and pistachio forests, it lies north of Herat and has a stronger insurgent presence.
The attacker was the latest in a growing number of Afghan police and soldiers who have opened fire on the foreign forces who are training them.
His assault brought the number of such attacks on Nato soldiers and employees this year to 21, the same as in all of 2011. Last year, 35 soldiers were killed, while there have been 30 deaths in such shootings already this year.
The men who have turned on foreign mentors account for only a small portion of the Afghan national security forces, now more than 300,000-strong, and Nato commanders argue that many are driven by personal grudges rather than loyalty to the Taliban or other groups.
But the killings are disproportionately damaging to morale in the critical mission to bolster the Afghan police and army as foreign troops begin heading home.
The attacks, known as "green on blue" by the military, have become such a commonplace threat that some foreign units are watched by armed "guardian angels" from their own ranks – virtually unheard of five years ago.
In 2007-08, there were a combined total of four attacks and four deaths, according to the Associated Press.
Even elite units have not proved immune. An Afghan commando shot dead a US special forces soldier earlier this year.
In early July, three British soldiers were killed by a man from the Afghan national civil order police, generally considered better trained, better disciplined and more prestigious than ordinary police.