Skip to main content

Uniformed attackers strike 3 times in Afghanistan, U.S. says

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:40 PM EDT, Tue June 19, 2012
  • NEW: The attacks make for a "tough day" around Kandahar, a Pentagon spokesman says
  • NEW: Nine coalition troops are wounded in the latest attack
  • An American soldier was killed and several were wounded on Monday
  • Four Afghan police officers were killed and seven wounded Tuesday in Kandahar

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghans in government uniforms launched three attacks on U.S. and Afghan forces in a 24-hour period, including one that breached the perimeter of an American outpost near Kandahar, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

The strikes made for what Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, called a "tough day" around the southern city of Kandahar. A U.S. soldier was killed and several others were wounded in a shooting by gunmen in Afghan police uniforms Monday, and other disguised insurgents killed three Afghan police officers and wounded seven more in Kandahar, local authorities said Tuesday.

Afghan insurgents strike U.S. outpost

The most recent attack wounded nine coalition troops at the American outpost dubbed Forward Operating Base Frontenac, in the Arghandab River valley, north of Kandahar. Kirby told reporters Tuesday that the attackers were dressed in the uniforms of the Afghan National Security Forces.

Part 2: U.S. plan for Afghanistan
Top U.S. General's plan for Afghanistan
Afghanistan, good enough?

The attackers "were engaged very quickly by friendly forces inside," he said. "There as a quick response force from a nearby combat outpost that responded almost immediately, and most of the casualties were evacuated to Kandahar."

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least eight insurgents carried out the attack. Seven of them were killed and the sole survivor was wounded, they said.

The area has been the scene of extensive insurgent activity in recent years. Neither official could explain how the breach occurred, but initial reports indicate officials believe the insurgents might have had help from Afghan security personnel.

In Afghanistan, mother bravely campaigns for president

Uniformed Afghans -- either insurgents in disguise or members of the country's police or military -- have been behind numerous killings of U.S. and NATO troops this year. The incidents have fueled mutual distrust between Afghan and allied forces in the now-decade-old conflict.

Tuesday's clash followed an incident Monday in which three gunmen in Afghan police uniforms fired on American troops in another location in southern Afghanistan, killing one and wounding several others. Kirby said that incident "appears to be what we consider a green-on-blue, an insider threat attack." U.S. forces launched a manhunt for the attackers late Monday, but they remained at large, he said.

And a gun battle erupted at a Kandahar police station early Tuesday morning when four insurgents wearing police uniforms tried to enter the facility, according to the office of the Kandahar governor. Police officers confronted them and a gun battle ensued, leaving the four attackers dead, the governor's office said.

All three strikes were located around Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militia that once ruled most of Afghanistan. But beyond geography, "It's just too soon to say with any certainty the degree to which any of these are connected," Kirby said.

CNN's Barbara Starr at the Pentagon and Masoud Popalzai in Kabul contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:32 PM EDT, Sat June 14, 2014
Afghans have finished casting their ballots to pick a president in a runoff election between former Cabinet ministers.
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
Singer and ex-judge on The Voice of Afghanistan advocates women's rights -- despite death threats for not wearing a headscarf.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed June 11, 2014
The improvement in the quality of life for Afghan women is unmistakable, say a bipartisan coalition of women in Congress.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Thu May 29, 2014
President Barack Obama outlined a foreign policy vision of "might doing right."
updated 1:58 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
She was to be married off to pay for her father's debt -- here's her story.
updated 3:23 PM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
One music producer hopes to get out Afghanistan's youth vote with a song competition. CNN's Sherisse Pham reports.
updated 8:11 AM EDT, Mon April 7, 2014
Despite threats from the Taliban, Afghans turned out in large numbers to cast their vote for a new president and future.
updated 1:27 AM EDT, Wed April 9, 2014
It was not too long ago -- in 2001, prior to the U.S. invasion -- that Afghanistan's women were all but entirely marginalized.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Sun April 6, 2014
As Afghan voters prepare to go to the polls in a hugely important election, CNN looks at the main presidential candidates.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Despite the looming Taliban presence, Afghanistan could see its first democratic transfer of power, Peter Bergen writes.
updated 2:03 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
As the U.S. prepares to withdraw troops, an Afghan Army commander says America's support remains critical.
updated 5:24 AM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
With U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan, CNN's Anna Coren reports on a Taliban firefight lasting more than 90 minutes.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon April 1, 2013
Mallika Kapur has the story of a young Afghan graffiti artist who, despite Taliban threats, pushes for free expression.
updated 7:35 AM EST, Mon February 11, 2013
Author William Dalrymple's new book "Return of a King" looks at the history of foreign-led wars in Afghanistan.'s 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.