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article imageAfghan policeman shoots and kills seven colleagues in the south

By Ken Hanly     Aug 6, 2019 in World
An Afghan policeman in the southern province of Kandahar opened fire on his colleagues, killing seven according to an Afghan official. The insider attack was just the latest case in which an Afghan policeman or soldier attacked his own forces or allies.
Account of the attack
Provincial spokesperson, Jamal Barekzai said that the attacker was able to flee the scene after the shooting. He added that an investigation was under way. A Taliban spokesperson Yusouf Ahmadi claimed the attacker had joined the Taliban.
Another recent attack
Just last week two US soldiers were shot and killed by an Afghan soldier also in Kandahar district. The attacker was wounded and taken into custody. The attacker was called a hero by the Taliban although they did not claim credit for the attack. A recent article gives more details about the two: "In last week’s attack, the U.S. Defense Department said 20-year-old Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer of Stryker, Ohio, and 24-year-old Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance of Chicago died “as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident” in southern Afghanistan."
Taliban negotiating for peace with the US
The Taliban effectively control at present about half of the country. The group has been holding peace talks with the US for some time designed to end the conflict that has now lasted 18 years. An eighth round of negotiations began last Saturday in Doha, Qatar.
As a March article notes progress is being made in the peace talks: "The longest peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban to end America’s 17-year war in Afghanistan concluded Tuesday night in Qatar, with both sides saying progress had been made. The US, which invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in 2001, wants Taliban guarantees that it will not become a haven for “terrorist” while the Taliban is focused on ensuring the withdrawal of all US-led foreign forces from the country." However, it is taking some time for details to be satisfactorily worked out.
A Taliban source said that efforts are under way to have a direct meeting between the US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and the Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar who is head of the Taliban political wing. Both sides have continued the battle during the peace negotiations.
Civilian casualties at record levels
The UN claims civilian losses last month reached record levels. In July more than 1500 civilians were killed or wounded the highest monthly number so far this year. This is the deadliest month since back in May of 2017. In 2019 more civilians so far have been killed by the actions of the US and its allies than the Taliban. The US has intensified aerial attacks in support of Afghan forces.
More about Taliban, Kandahar province, insider killings
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