Infantry men from the 1st platoon, Delta coy. attend a briefing prior to embarking on a night patrol from Lindsey foward operating base, on September 15, in Kandahar province. A suspected policeman on Sunday killed four NATO troops in Afghanistan, the US-led military said, the second apparent attack in which Afghan security forces have killed their Western allies in two days
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
KABUL: Suspected members of the Afghan police killed four NATO troops, the US-led military said, the second apparent incident in which local security forces have killed their Western allies in two days.
The number of Western soldiers killed in so-called "insider attacks" since the start of the year now stands at 51, threatening to jeopardise coalition plans to train Afghan forces to take over when they leave in 2014.
NATO's US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) provided few details but said the incident took place on Sunday, in southern Afghanistan, a hotbed of the Taliban-led insurgency, and that it was "suspected to involve members of the Afghan police".
Two British soldiers died in a similar attack on Saturday in the southern province of Helmand.
Ghulam Jilani, the deputy police chief in the southern province of Zabul, confirmed the attack.
"There was an attack against a police post in Mizana district. Coalition forces came to help. A policeman from Mizana police opened fire on the coalition soldiers," he told AFP.
"I don't have the number of the casualties but I can confirm the incident happened in Mizana district."
There have been more than 30 such attacks so far this year, according to an AFP count. Most of the casualties have been Americans.
Sunday's attack came just two weeks after US special forces suspended training for about 1,000 recruits to a controversial police unit, known as the Afghan Local Police (ALP).
It has around 16,000 members and is US-sponsored and recruited to fight Taliban insurgents in remote areas of the Afghan countryside, though it has been accused of corruption and violence towards civilians.
Training for the mainstream police and the Afghan army -- carried out by NATO -- has not been affected.
Afghanistan says it has arrested or sacked hundreds of Afghan soldiers for suspected insurgency links in a bid to stem a trend that threatens to undermine Western plans for a troop withdrawal.
NATO attributes around 75 percent of the attacks to grudges, misunderstandings and cultural differences.
The Afghan defence ministry this month published a hastily-written brochure for 195,000 members of the Afghan army with advice on how to behave around and not misunderstand Western soldiers.