On April 30, AP’s Robert Burns revealed that the number of attacks on NATO soldiers by Afghan military and police had been systematically under-reported because only attacks resulting in fatalities were reported. An attack in Herat, Afghanistan over the weekend now raises the possibility that another category of Afghan attacks on personnel associated with the NATO coalition’s efforts is also under-reported. In Sunday’s attack, three contractors involved in training Afghan forces were killed, but the Reuters report on this attack mentions that since those killed were contractors and not military personnel, the attack was not “technically” a green on blue attack. Ironically, Burns’ exposure of the under-reporting on non-fatal attacks has resulted in at least some them now being reported, and there was one today.
Burns’ report opens with his discovery of the under-reporting:
The military is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops.
The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or other foreign soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform. But The Associated Press has learned it does not report insider attacks in which the Afghan wounds — or misses — his U.S. or allied target. It also doesn’t report the wounding of troops who were attacked alongside those who were killed.
CNN was the first to report the Herat attack yesterday. It is important to note that they first cite information from an Afghan police official before they cite NATO:
An Afghan policeman opened fire at a training center in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing three Americans, a police official told CNN.
The Afghan official, who declined to be named, said the three victims were most probably trainers at the West Zone Police Training Center in Herat province. The shooter was also killed, the official said.
NATO spokesman Maj. Adam Wojack said the three killed were civilian contractors working for the International Security Assistance Force. He could not confirm their nationality or what their specific jobs were.