Afghan policewoman fatally shoots foreign adviser

Updated 25 December 2012
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Afghan policewoman fatally shoots foreign adviser

KABUL: A female Afghan police officer shot dead a NATO civilian adviser inside Kabul police headquarters on Monday, officials said, in the first “insider” attack by a woman.
It was the latest in a series of such attacks that have seriously undermined trust between NATO forces and their Afghan allies in the fight against Taleban militants.
A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the adviser died of his wounds and the female police officer who shot him had been detained.
In another insider attack on Monday, the head of a local police post in the northern province of Jawzjan shot dead five of his colleagues and ran away to join the Taleban, said provincial police chief Abdul Aziz Ghairat.
Interior ministry spokesman Sediq Seidiqqi confirmed the Kabul incident and said an investigation was under way, while a senior security official speaking to AFP anonymously said the victim was a male adviser from NATO.
A US military official said on condition of anonymity that the adviser was American.
A police officer at the scene who refused to give his name told AFP the shooting happened in the courtyard of the heavily guarded headquarters in central Kabul.
“I heard gunshots and then I saw the shooter — a woman wearing police uniform — running and firing into the air with her pistol,” the officer said.
“I ran after her, jumped on her and put my gun to her head and told her not to move. She gave up and I arrested her and I took her weapon.”
NATO is aiming to train 350,000 Afghan soldiers and police by the end of 2014 as it transfers all security responsibilities to President Hamid Karzai’s local forces.
The Afghan conflict has seen a surge in insider attacks this year, with more than 50 ISAF soldiers killed by their colleagues in the Afghan army or police, though most have happened on military bases and not in the capital.
US special forces suspended training for around 1,000 Afghan Local Police recruits in September to re-investigate current members for possible links to the Taleban, after the rise in insider attacks.
Training for the national police was not affected.
The Washington Post reported that the suspension came amid concerns that recruitment guidelines were not being followed properly in the rush to swell local police numbers.
NATO says about a quarter of insider attacks are caused by Taleban infiltrators, but the rest stem from personal animosities and cultural differences between Western troops and their Afghan allies.
In the most recent previous attack, a British soldier was killed by an Afghan soldier on a base in the restive south on November 11.
The unprecedented number of attacks, referred to as “green-on-blue” by the military, comes at a critical moment in the 11-year war as NATO troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.
NATO top brass have admitted the seriousness of the phenomenon.
ISAF commander General John Allen has said that just as homemade bombs were the signature weapon of the Iraq war, in Afghanistan “the signature attack that we’re beginning to see is going to be the insider attack.”
Efforts to tackle the issue include orders that NATO soldiers working with Afghan forces should be armed and ready to fire at all times, even within their tightly protected bases, and the issuing of cultural guidelines.
The insider attacks have added to growing opposition to the war in many Western countries providing troops to the US-led NATO force, with opinion polls showing a majority want their soldiers out as soon as possible.
NATO has said, however, that the attacks will not force it to bring forward its scheduled withdrawal of all combat troops by the end of 2014.


North Korea pledges to destroy missile test engine site

US President Donald Trump boasted at a Cabinet meeting Thursday that his administration has had “tremendous success” with North Korea, adding that denuclearization had already begun. (Reuters)
Updated 3 min 23 sec ago
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North Korea pledges to destroy missile test engine site

  • The testing site in question is in Ch’olsan County, North Pyongan province, and is sometimes is referred to as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground,
  • North Korea conducted satellite launches into space from Sohae in 2012 and 2016, drawing international condemnation as the rocket technology used could be adapted for use with ballistic missiles

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration on Thursday identified the missile test engine site that it says North Korea has pledged to destroy, but the president’s latest comments about resolving the nuclear standoff have raised new questions about what concessions Pyongyang has made.
President Donald Trump had said on June 12 after his summit with Kim Jong Un that the North Korean leader was “already destroying” a missile site, in addition to committing to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.
The testing site in question is in Ch’olsan County, North Pyongan province, and is sometimes is referred to as the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, according to an administration official. The official, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity, would not answer questions about whether the site was already being destroyed, but said that as negotiations moved forward, the administration would continue to monitor the area where North Korea tested liquid propellant engines for long-range ballistic missiles.
North Korea conducted satellite launches into space from Sohae in 2012 and 2016, drawing international condemnation as the rocket technology used could be adapted for use with ballistic missiles. There are also facilities there for testing missile engines. Commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae station from June 12 shows no apparent activity related to dismantlement of its rocket engine test stand, according to 38 North, a Washington-based website that tracks developments in the isolated nation’s weapons programs.
Trump boasted at a Cabinet meeting Thursday that his administration has had “tremendous success” with North Korea, adding that denuclearization had already begun.
The president’s comments, however, ran counter to remarks Defense Secretary James Mattis made the day before. Mattis told reporters Wednesday that he wasn’t aware that North Korea had taken any steps yet toward denuclearization. “I’m not aware of any. Obviously, we’re at the very front end of the process. Detailed negotiations have not begun,” he said.
Trump said Kim has stopped testing missiles, including ballistic missiles that could reach the United States, and is destroying the engine testing site — an apparent reference to Sohae. “They’re blowing it up,” he said.
Researchers are debating the significance of that promise.
It will depend on which facilities it destroyed at Sohae — one of several sites that have been used for the development of the North’s ballistic missiles, said Jenny Town, a research analyst on North Korea at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington.
“If it’s just the engine test stand at Sohae that will be dismantled, diplomatically it has value but it doesn’t really change North Korea’s ability to test more engines if they chose to do so at a different facility,” Town said.
“If they were dismantling more facilities at Sohae, such as the launch pad itself, that would be a very big development, as Sohae is their main satellite launch facility. It could signal North Korea is willing to include a moratorium on satellite launches in addition to their missile and nuclear tests, which has been a point of contention in past agreements and derailed negotiations in the past. But this is obviously a big if.”
At the Cabinet meeting, Trump also referenced other concessions North Korea has supposedly made: “They’ve already blown up one of their big test sites. In fact, it was actually four of their big test sites,” he said.
Trump undoubtedly was referencing North Korea’s demolition in late May of a nuclear test site at Punggye-ri in a remote area in the northeastern part of the country. But it’s unclear what Trump meant when he went on to say “it was actually four of their big test sites.”
Punggye-ri was built with multiple tunnels suitable for nuclear testing. During the demolition, a group of journalists, including from The Associated Press, witnessed a series of huge explosions that centered on entrances to three tunnels. The explosions caused landslides near the tunnel entrances and sent up clouds of smoke and dust.