Kabul: The Afghan military has arrested or sacked hundreds of its own soldiers in a major crackdown to curb the recent shooting attacks on NATO troops.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Zahir Azimi, who announced the crackdown, said it came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai ‘instructed the security forces to put all their efforts and capacities to prevent these attacks’.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Karzai raised the issue on Sunday in a meeting with his security council, instructing top officials to focus on thwarting the attacks.
In recent months, coalition forces have seen a surge in ‘green-on-blue’ killings, in which Afghan soldiers, police or those dressed like them have attacked their foreign partners.
In August, at least 15 coalition troops were killed by their Afghan counterparts, raising concerns that insurgents were deliberately infiltrating Afghan military and police units to sow mistrust and derail cooperation with coalition forces, the report said.
US Army Lt General James Terry, the commander who oversees day-to-day operations, said in a briefing on Wednesday that the US was planning to help the Afghans with their vetting process.
The insider attacks have led to growing tensions between Afghanistan and its foreign allies, the report said.
Green-on-blue attacks have also threatened to imperil a key part of the US exit strategy, which calls for a shift in emphasis to training and advisory missions, it added.