Continued from page 1

So far in 2012, there have been 29 attacks reported on foreign troops by Afghans they are training, compared to 11 attacks in 2011, according to an Associated Press count, and five attacks in each of the previous two years.

Seven such attacks have come in the past two weeks alone, with six American troops killed last Friday in two separate shootings in Helmand province in the south and another American killed a few days previously on a U.S. base in Paktia province in the east.

The trend raises questions about potential resentment by Afghans after more than a decade of international presence following the American-led intervention to oust the Taliban from power for harboring al-Qaida’s leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The insider attacks also renew concern that insurgents may be infiltrating the Afghan army and police, despite intensified screening.

Insurgent infiltration or recruitment was behind only about 10 percent of this year’s reported attacks on coalition forces by Afghan allies, Graybeal said earlier this week, citing investigations into attacks before those of the past week.

Graybeal insisted the deadly violence is relatively small scale compared to the nearly 340,000 Afghan security forces now being trained.

The international coalition has said that Afghan forces are increasingly able to lead operations and already have started to assume responsibility for security in areas of the country that are home to 75 percent of the Afghan population.

However, the Taliban have been quick to seize on the increasing number of attacks as a sign of Afghan rejection of foreign forces and the insurgents’ own successful recruitment.

The group’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar said Thursday night that the insurgents “have cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy” and were successfully killing a rising number of U.S.-led coalition forces.

“The Afghan army and national police are trying to build a better future for the Afghan people, yet Omar wants to stop these efforts,” NATO’s Allen said in his statement.