There are fears that three Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan security forces in what is termed a ‘‘green on blue’’ attack.
Three troops in the NATO-led force in Afghanistan have been killed in an attack by a member of the Afghan security forces in southern Oruzgan province.
The nationality of the victims has not yet been announced, but an official says they are not American.
About 1550 Australian Defence Force troops are deployed in the province as part of the International Security Assistance Force.
ISAF says an individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against ISAF members in southern Afghanistan, killing three.
There has recently been a rise in ‘‘green on blue’’ attacks in Afghanistan. Two US soldiers were killed earlier this week.
Retired major general Jim Molan told the ABC yesterday that such attacks could increase as international forces prepare to withdraw by 2014.
‘‘The probability of them increasing is high,’’ he said.
Australia has lost 33 soldiers in Afghanistan since February 2002. Most recently, Sergeant Blaine Flower Diddams from the
Special Air Service Regiment was killed during a small arms engagement with insurgents in July.
According to ISAF, this year more than 30 insider attacks have killed 45 coalition troops, making up about 14 per cent of the overall death toll in the war for 2012.
The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, US General John Allen, said last week the causes of the surge in insider attacks were varied, and that Taliban infiltration accounted for about a quarter of the incidents.
A Pentagon assessment last year found serious tensions between the coalition forces and their Afghan counterparts, with relations plagued by cultural clashes and deep mistrust.