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Monday, February 2, 2015

Three US contractors killed in Afghan insider attack


Kabul - An Afghan air force official said that three American contractors were killed in an apparent attack by an insider in the Afghan capital Kabul. The international force in Afghanistan confirmed the shooting that took place on Thursday morning.
The anonymous Afghan air force official said: "It is unclear yet why he shot these advisers and no one else was there to tell us the reason. An investigation has been opened." The attack victims were employed to help train Afghan air force personnel under a contract with the US Defense Department. The Afghan portion of operation Enduring Freedom ended at the end of 2014 and also the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). However, under a Status of Forces agreement signed last September by President Ghani along with a Bilateral Security Agreement with the US approximately 12,000 NATO troops will remain in Afghanistan, with about10,600 being Americans.

The new operation is called Resolute Support. While the main mission will be to train and support Afghan troops and security force there will also be a counter-insurgency operation as set out in the Bilateral Security Agreement: The Parties acknowledge that U.S. military operations to defeat al Qaida and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism. Some reports such as here and here do not mention the fact that there will still be combat missions as part of the Global War on Terror or Overseas Contingency Operations as the new politically correct naming protocol would have it. There will also be numerous private contractors at work in Afghanistan as well.

 A Wikipedia article lists deaths of private contractors by the year and incidents in Afghanistan up to December 2014. There are 218 foreign private contractor deaths listed. 49 of those were private military contractors. The largest number, 65, were Americans, with the next largest being 19 from Nepal. There were 16 from the UK and even 13 Canadians and the same number from the Philippines. These are only a small number of the total which is estimated at 1481 as of December 31, 2013. The Taliban have launched a number of violent attacks of late even though the winter usually sees a definite decline in fighting. On Thursday an attack on a funeral in Laghman province killed 16 including four police and twelve civilians. On Wednesday another eleven policemen were killed and others wounded in an attack on a checkpoint in Ghazni province.



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