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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:46 AM

Afghan violence falls, insider attacks rise


Afghan violence falls, insider attacks rise
By Denis D. Gray and Rahim Faiez
Associated Press
Sunday, December 30, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Violence in Afghanistan fell in 2012, but more Afghan troops and police who now shoulder most of the combat were killed, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

At the same time, insider killings by uniformed Afghans against their foreign allies rose dramatically, eroding confidence between the two sides at a crucial turning point in the war and when NATO troops and Afghan counterparts are in more intimate contact.

“The overall situation is improving,” said a NATO spokesman, Air ForceLt. Col. Lester T. Carroll. He singled out Afghan special forces as “surgically removing insurgent leaders from the battle space.”

Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said that Afghan forces now are charged with 80 percent of security missions and also are less equipped to face the most lethal weapon of the militants — roadside bombs.

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