General: Ramadan factor in Afghan insider attacks

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says one possible explanation for a spike in killings of American troops by their Afghan partners is the strain of fasting during the just-concluded Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The statement was made Thursday by Marine Gen. John R. Allen during a question-and-answer session with reporters at the Pentagon.

Allen said the reasons for “insider attacks” by Afghan soldiers and police officers on their U.S. and coalition partners are not fully understood. But he believes Ramadan probably is one reason, since the fasting period came during the heat of the summer and at the peak of the fighting season against the Taliban.

Allen said the Taliban also have played a direct role in some cases by impersonating Afghan troops.

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