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More Afghan police killed…

April 6, 2012

Another report suggesting that an Afghan Local Police (ALP) outpost has been attacked by insurgents, with all the police killed:

At least eight Afghan local police were killed in a Taliban attack late Wednesday in western Farah province, local officials said.

Taliban gunmen attacked a local police outpost in the Khak-e-Safeed district of Farah province late in the evening, killing all eight of the police present, Farah acting governor Mohammad Younis Rasooli said.  The Taliban left with scene with all the police weapons from the checkpoint, he added.  The attack closely followed Friday’s killing of nine Afghan local police by a colleague in the eastern Paktika province, which the Taliban also claimed responsibility for.

The incident took place in Yayakhil district of Paktika, a province on the Pakistani border.  The man who shoots death their colleague has joined with Taliban after the attack.  There are around 11,000 local police in the country with plans to increase it to 30,000 by 2014.  The Afghan Local Police, funded by the government, are a separate security force from the Afghan National Police.

I think we are going to see more of these stories this year, partly because the media is now focused on it anyway (“is the ANSF capable of taking over?”) and also because I suspect ISAF is going to be taking more of a back seat.  Isolated Afghan security outposts will be much easier targets than ISAF and Afghan Local Police, with all their reliability question marks, will be easier targets that the ANA.  ISAF will become increasingly irrelevant.

The Taliban have claimed the attack:

12 puppets including commander killed

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi
Thursday, 13 Jamadil Awal 1433

Thursday, 05 April 2012 09:11

FARAH, Apr. 05 – Officials reporting from Khak Safid district say that at around midnight, Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate carried out an operation on a local police (miltia) check post located in Ranj village as a result the check post was overrun, 12 puppets inside including their commander (Ahmad Shah, formally a Mujahid and later joined the enemy under the ‘integration’ process) killed while their rifles and others military equipment including their vehicle were seized.

It is said that the commander who was known as ‘Ghazi’ was notorious for his brutality and had personal direct contact with the NDS intelligence.

They seem adamant that this was linked to the reintegration process – they were targeting someone formerly in the Taliban who supposedly changed over to the government.  Often it seems to be the case that Taliban who reintegrate are “rebadged” and turned into local police units to keep the peace in the local area.  This might be a reason why attacks on ALP may increase.  Understandably, one of the biggest concerns with possible “reintegrees” is whether they can be assured of protection.  The Taliban, for their part, consider defectors and their families legitimate targets.

But I suspect in Afghan on Afghan (“Green on Green”) clashes, reliable information is going to be correspondingly harder to come by – it will become harder to know what is really going on.  This story reads as a “textbook” attack – small and isolated outpost, overrun, all killed, weapons and equipment looted by the insurgents.   The Taliban’s angle seems plausible – ie extracting revenge on someone who “defected”, but I wonder if it genuinely happened that way.  It has happened in the past the local deals are struck, someone changes sides (for a bit), weapons are handed over and someone shoots the place up to make it look authentic.  Just saying…

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