The alleged discovery of nearly a dozen suicide vests at the Afghan Ministry of Defense deepens concerns about the loyalty of Afghan security forces, which have already killed 16 coalition troops this year.
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Concerns about disloyal Afghan security forces are deepening after an Afghan soldier and local police officer yesterday killed three members of the international coalition, known as ISAF, that is seeking to build up the Afghan security forces.
The head of ISAF sought to ease pessimism about the ability of Afghan forces to take over from coalition troops as they prepare to withdraw by 2014, saying that while such attacks are upsetting, they are typical in a conflict like this and do not indicate failure.
There are also signs, however, that Afghan soldiers are not only a threat to coalition troops, but also to their own government. The New York Times reports that nearly a dozen suicide vests were found at the Afghan Ministry of Defense yesterday, in what Afghan and Western officials believe was a plot to bomb buses carrying employees home.
The ministry flatly denied the reports of a foiled suicide plot, describing it as a false leak.
"This is completely inaccurate and we deny all the information and details regarding this suicide plot. None of the suicide vests were found, no one was arrested, and the ministry did not shut down," Dawlat Waziri, deputy for the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense, told the Monitor.
The Times notes concerns that the alleged plot may have been intended as the opening volley in a new season of Taliban attacks.