British soldier killed by gunman in Afghan uniform
Kabul, Afghanistan—A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform shot and killed a member of the U.S.-led coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan the latest in a spate of insider attacks that are fracturing the trust between NATO and Afghan forces.
Separately, officials said 11 Afghan civilians were killed by land mines on Sunday in the east and south.
The U.K. Ministry of Defense confirmed that the insider attack had claimed the life of a British soldier from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. It said the soldier was shot by an individual wearing an Afghan army uniform at his base in the Nade-e Ali district of Helmand province.
The defense ministry did not name the serviceman but said his next of kin have been informed.
Mohammad Zarak, spokesman for the governor of southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province, said the shooting took place in Nad Ali district after an argument between an Afghan soldier and coalition service members.
Coalition figures show at least 60 coalition service members have been killed so far this year and others have been wounded in about 45 insider attacks, where members of the Afghan security forces or insurgents dressed in their uniforms turn their guns on U.S. and allied troops.
The insider attacks have raised questions about how effectively the allied forces can train the Afghans to take over security of their own country in 2014 and beyond. Foreign forces are due to turn over security responsibility to the local military by the end of 2014.
The spate of insider attacks has further undermined public support for the 11-year war in NATO countries and increased calls for early withdrawals.
In London, Gen. David Richards, head of Britain’s armed forces, described the insider attacks as a “very effective” Taliban tactic.
“They’re very good at playing on our minds because of the impact it has in the minds of (ordinary people) and many people who are of influence, including our politicians,” Richard told the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show.”
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb killed three men, two women and a baby in Khost province of eastern Afghanistan, deputy provincial police chief Youqib Khan said. He said their vehicle hit the bomb as they were returning from a hospital.
Three other civilians were killed when their vehicle detonated a land mine on the road between Helmand and Kandahar provinces, a government statement said.
Also in the south, two civilians who were walking were killed by a land mine in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province, said Ahmad Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
The United Nations says homemade bombs continue to be the weapons that kill the most civilians in the war.