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US general talks with Afghan officials about attacks on NATO personnel

Attacks from inside the Afghan security forces have been climbing. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the rise as well as the progress with the military campaign with US commanders in the field.

By Heidi VogtAssociated Press / August 20, 2012

A policeman prays while guarding residents taking part in morning prayers outside the Shah-e Doh Shamshira mosque during the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr in Kabul, Sunday.

Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

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KABUL

The U.S. military's top general met with senior officials in Afghanistan on Monday to attempt to stop a recent wave of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police against international forces in the country.

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Once an anomaly, attacks from inside the Afghan security forces have been climbing in recent months. There have been 30 such attacks so far this year, up from 11 in 2011.

Meeting with NATO commander

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, landed at Bagram Air Field outside Kabul earlier in the day. Dempsey and the commander of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James R. Mattis, met with NATO and U.S. Afghan commander Gen. John Allen in Kabul and discussed the progress of the Afghanistan campaign, a statement issued by the coalition said.

Allen said in the statement that they discussed "how to maintain momentum against the insurgents," adding that international forces continued to support a push to train and equip Afghans in preparation of the departure of most international combat forces at the end of 2014.

"The campaign remains on track," Allen said in the statement.

Dempsey and Mattis also met with a number of senior Afghan and coalition leaders, the statement said.

Ahead of the talks, a spokesman for international forces in Afghanistan said Dempsey would be bringing up the rising number of attacks by Afghan forces in his discussions.

"He's certainly talking about a number of issues including progress with the (military) campaign and the like," Jamie Graybeal said. "He's also obviously talking about the insider attacks," he added, declining to provide further details.

In the latest such attack Sunday, two Afghan policemen turned their weapons on U.S. troops in Kandahar province, killing an American service member, officials said. That raised the death toll to 10 U.S. troops killed in such attacks in the space of just two weeks.

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