NATO Halts Joint Afghan Ops over 'Insider Killings'

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As violent protests sweep the Muslim world, Islamic terrorists are taking advantage of the situation to carry out deadly strikes.

In Afghanistan, a massive car comb killed 13 people, including eight South Africans.

"This man said, my son was with me," one eyewitness recalled. "I hugged him and ran inside the hotel."

Now, NATO is temporarily ending most joint missions with Afghan soldiers. The coalition cited the heightened threats because of the anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims" and an increase in so-called "green-on-blue," or insider killings, as the reason for the move.

These inside killings take place when Afghan soldiers, trained by their NATO allies, suddenly turn on them. So far this year, 51 coalition troops have been killed in these attacks.

"I am fed up with watching our seriously good soldiers waste their lives, have their lives wasted by people who are meant to be our friends," British Col. Bob Stewart, a member of Parliament and a former U.N. commander in Bosnia, said.

Coalition soldiers will no longer go on joint patrols with Afghans unless a senior general gives them permission.

"We see this as a temporary and transitory phase that we're in. And it's going to be relatively short-lived," Col. Thomas Collins, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said.

NATO suggested the only permanent change in policy will be more extensive vetting of Afghan forces who work alongside NATO troops.

The joint patrols have long been seen as an important way to train Afghan forces so they can learn to take on the Taliban after the United States withdraws in 2014.

But Ryan Cocker, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, said it's a season of turbulent change throughout the Middle East and no one knows where it will take us.

"After [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak stepped down, like usual, we said, 'End of story, end of autocracies, end of problem. It's a wonderful new world out there.' Well, not exactly," Cocker said.

Meanwhile, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo published caricatures of Islam's Prophet Mohammed in its Wednesday edition, a move that could stir more passions in the Muslim world.

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has condemned the publication and called it "a catastrophe."

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at