Two soldiers shot dead in Nato base in Afghanistan

A man in an Afghan army uniform has shot dead two Nato troops inside a base in southern Afghanistan.

The attack appeared to be the latest in a string of “green on blue” attacks in which Afghan security forces have turned on their international colleagues or mentors.

They have become increasingly common over the past year, particularly since the burning of Korans at a US base in February which led to riots and the deaths of six US soldiers.

The latest attack was at the Lashkar Gah base which is dominated by British forces. The Ministry of Defence said it was aware of the incident, but refused to release any more details or confirm whether the soldiers were British.

Details were still sketchy about the incident. Nato said that a man in an Afghan soldier’s uniform turned his weapon against international troops. Coalition forces then returned fire.

“The gunman was shot and killed,” said a Nato spokesman.

There have been more than 45 attacks by Afghans on Nato colleagues in Afghanistan since 2007, more than 7 % of those in the last two years.

It is also possible that the killer was an insurgent who donned an Afghan army uniform to get into the base or to get closer to his targets. Army uniforms are readily available in Afghan markets and militants have used the tactic in the past to launch sneak attacks.

The attack also comes two weeks after a US soldier went on a pre-dawn shooting rampage in neighbouring Kandahar province, killing at least 16 people and wounding six.

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