U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon that these types of attacks are characteristic of any warfare involving insurgents.
"We experienced these in Iraq. We experienced them in Vietnam," Allen said. "On any occasion where you're dealing with an insurgency and where you're also growing an indigenous force . . . the enemy's going to do all that they can to disrupt both the counterinsurgency operations" and the developing nation's security forces.
Since 2007, an estimated 80 NATO service members were killed by Afghan security forces, according to an Associated Press tally based on Pentagon figures released in February. More than 75 percent of the attacks have occurred in the last two years.
In one incident Monday, two British service members were killed by an Afghan soldier in front of the main gate of a joint civilian-military base in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said.
Another NATO service member was shot and killed at a checkpoint in eastern Afghanistan by a man believed to be a member of a village-level fighting force the United States is fostering in hopes of countering the Taliban insurgency. The Pentagon confirmed Monday that the dead soldier was American but did not release further details.
Maj. Ian Lawrence, a British military spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said one of the British troops was a Royal Marine and the other was a soldier from the British Adjutant General's Corps. They were killed in front of the base in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand Province.
The soldier arrived at the gate in an army vehicle, said Ghulam Farooq Parwani, deputy commander of the Afghan army in Helmand. He was able to get close to the British troops by claiming he had been assigned to provide security for a delegation of government officials from Kabul who were visiting the base Monday, Parwani added.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the shooter was an Afghan soldier who was in close contact with insurgents and had notified the Taliban of his planned attack before carrying it out.