Afghan force to protect NATO bases

August 24th, 2012 - 10:07 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, Aug 24 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) is ready to provide security to NATO military bases throughout the country, according to an Afghan minister.

Speaking at a news briefing Thursday, APPF Deputy Minister Mujtaba Patang said the remaining 37 private security firms, which currently protect NATO facilities in Afghanistan, would be dissolved and replaced with the APPF personnel by March 2013.

The announcement comes in the wake of a rise in attacks against NATO-led troops by Afghan security personnel or Taliban militants clad in military or police uniforms.

The assaults, called green-on-blue or insider attacks, have caused the deaths of at least 40 International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops this year.

All troops at NATO headquarters in Kabul and all bases across Afghanistan have recently been ordered to carry loaded weapons around the clock.

Patang said that the loyalty of APPF personnel was guaranteed by their tribal leaders and provincial council members and that there was no enemy infiltration within these forces.

The APPF currently has 30,000 personnel, and the number is expected to rise to 100,000 after 2014, when foreign troops complete their withdrawal from the war-torn country.

NATO has supported the move towards a public security force staffed by Afghans and has been helping to train the APPF personnel since 2010.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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