The South Asia Channel

Attacks by Afghan security forces on comrades increasing

New posts: Knox Thames, "Why aren't we encouraging more religious tolerance in Afghanistan?" (FP); Rabail Baig, "The dishonorable defense of honor" (FP). 

Brothers-in-arms?

As NATO officials seek to stem the rise in attacks by Afghan security forces on NATO troops, they are also concerned about the increasing numbers of Afghan police and military forces being killed by one another (NYT). So far this year, Afghan soldiers or police officers have killed 53 of their comrades in 35 incidents, according to data compiled by NATO.

The top NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen conceded Thursday that up to a quarter of the "insider attacks" on NATO troops could be caused either by Taliban infiltration or coercion, after Afghan president Hamid Karzai earlier claimed that most of these attacks are the result of infiltration by "foreign spy agencies" (NYT). Gen. Allen maintained, though, that NATO investigations have shown that most of the attacks still stemmed from personal grievances.

Militants kidnapped and killed three off-duty Afghan soldiers and one other man from a bus in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia on Thursday (AP).

Drone wars

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to protest U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions, following a wave of three drone strikes earlier this week on suspected militant targets in North Waziristan (AP). Just a day later, a massive drone attack on three compounds near North Waziristan's border with Afghanistan killed at least 18 suspected militants (AP, ET/AFP, Reuters, Dawn).

Pakistani and Indian parliamentarians discussed ways to improve bilateral ties during a dialogue session in New Delhi on Thursday, focusing on improving the countries' visa regimes, as well as the role of the media, education, and local governments (Dawn, The News).

A Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 will be publishing a book next month -- written under a pseudonym -- containing a first-hand account of the covert mission (NYT). However, Fox News and the Associated Press on Thursday revealed what they say is the author's real name, and said he may face legal action because the book has not yet been approved for publication by the Department of Defense (Fox, AP, NYT). Current and former military officials reportedly confirmed the author's name.

Game faces

Afghanistan is set to take its next big step into the world of professional cricket with its second ever match against a test-playing nation, a one-day international against Australia in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday (AP). The Afghans aren't expected to win, but a good showing will boost the players' confidence ahead of the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, according to the team's coach Kabir Khan.

-- Jennifer Rowland

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/GettyImages

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