Following a string of attacks by members of Afghan security forces against foreign troops, NATO announced that it is temporarily reducing support for Afghan forces.
NATO ordered a cutback on Tuesday in operations with Afghan forces in response to a surge of so-called insider attacks on foreign servicemen, but said the restriction was temporary and would not derail a 2014 handover of security to Afghans.
The order indefinitely suspending most mentoring operations came from the second most senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lieutenant-General James Terry, and applies to all front-line missions involving units smaller than an 800-strong battalion.
But a senior NATO spokesman, U.S. Colonel Tom Collins, said the order was only a "temporary and prudent response" to current threats of insider attacks and a week of mounting anger across the Muslim world over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammad.
"It will apply only until the threat level returns to a tolerable level," Collins said, adding that separate training missions would be unaffected.
So-called enabling missions, such as NATO helicopter support for Afghan troops and medical evacuations by air, would also be unaffected, Collins told Reuters.
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