"Insider Attacks" Kill U.S. Civilian, Five Afghan Police Officers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 24 2012 10:12 AM

"Insider Attacks" Kill U.S. Civilian, Five Afghan Police Officers

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An Afghan policeman stands guard at the site where a female police officer shot dead a foreign civilian adviser at police headquarters in Kabul on December 24, 2012

Photo by Shah Maria/AFP/Getty Images.

A U.S. civilian and five Afghan police officers are dead after two apparent "insider attacks" in Afghanistan. They're the latest in a series of incidents in which Afghan army or police members (or insurgents disguised as security personnel) kill foreigners or Afghan troops in the country.

The female attacker from Monday's shooting death in Kabul is in custody, according to the BBC. The victim was a U.S. civilian contractor serving as an adviser at police headquarters. Monday's attack was the first time such an incident has involved a female shooter. CNN reports that the suspected shooter had been a member of of the police force for about 2 years, and is about 40 years old. She's suspected of having links to the Taliban.

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While the Taliban haven't said anything about Monday's incident yet, they have claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in northern Afghanistan, where an Afghan police officer shot dead five of his own. According to the group's spokesperson, the shooter, a police commander, escaped capture and is now with the Taliban, CNN reports.

Over 50 people have died in the country as a result of insider attacks, prompting the U.S. to suspend training of new local police recruits in September. U.S. forces are depending upon the Afghan army and police to take over security for the country after a scheduled pullout in 2014. But as the Los Angeles Times explained on a piece looking at "insider attacks," the incidents have significantly complicated that transition.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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