Afghan 'insider attacks' linked to Pak-based Haqqani network: US officials

     The Pakistan-based Haqqani insurgent network, which has ties to Al-Qaeda, is suspected of being behind some 'insider' attacks by Afghan forces on NATO forces, American officials have said. Until now, officials had said the attacks seemed to stem either from personal grievances against the allies or from Taliban infiltration.

The US officials said that although there is no hard evidence tying the Haqqanis to specific attacks, the pattern of shootings and the movements and backgrounds of some of the shooters, including travel into Pakistan shortly before the shootings, point to a likely connection to the group, CBS News reports. According to the report, Haqqani involvement in the plotting would add a new dimension to that group's insurgent activity, which has been marked largely by spectacular attacks against targets inside Kabul. Haqqani leaders have pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but the group largely operates independently. The two groups have, however, shared interest in evicting foreign forces.

Meanwhile, the new data reveals that in addition to 35 U.S. and allied troops killed in insider attacks last year, 61 were wounded. In 2012 there have been 53 killed and at least 80 wounded, the figures showed. According to the report, American officials said that the Afghan government is now taking other steps to prevent additional insider attacks, although the US believes they will not end.

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