Three NATO soldiers were killed today in Afghanistan in a pair of shooting incidents involving members of the Afghan security forces. Two of the three slain were British, while the nationality of the third has not been released.
The two British soldiers were killed in Helmand by a uniformed member of the Afghan Army. The Afghan soldier was also killed in the ensuing gunfire, and a third British soldier was wounded. There were no details on what caused the incident, with officials saying it was an “apparent” argument.
The third NATO soldier was killed near a checkpoint in Afghanistan’s far east, apparently by a member of the local police force. Officials said there was no indication yet why this shooting occurred, but there is an investigation.
Occupation commander Gen. John Allen was most ambivalent about the killings, saying that such attacks were “to be expected” and insisting that for every Afghan soldier who defects or kills a NATO soldier there are a large number of Afghan soldiers who didn’t.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took an entirely different angle, insisting that the killings are not routine and that he did not “think they reflect any kind of broad pattern.” He did however say he hoped the killings didn’t distract from discussions on the plan to keep US troops in the nation beyond 2014.