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Afghan attacks down, but insider threat rises

WASHINGTON — The United States and its allies have made only spotty and incremental progress in the Afghan war, with overall violence declining just slightly in the past year and widespread corruption continuing to hamper the shaky government, according to a new Pentagon report.

It also noted that insider attacks, in which Afghan forces or people dressed in Afghan uniforms turn their weapons on coalition troops, ‘‘have the potential to significantly disrupt the Coalition mission in Afghanistan.’’

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The report comes as the US Army is updating its handbook for soldiers on how to prevent such attacks. A draft lists possible indicators, such as reclusive behavior, desire for control, and increased focus on violence. It reminds soldiers to avoid doing things that might offend Afghans. More than 320 casualties were caused by insider attacks between May 2007 and Oct. 1, 2012.

Also Monday, a Taliban bombing killed a police chief in Nimroz Province and gunmen fatally shot an official in charge of women’s affairs in Laghman Province, the latest victims of a campaign targeting government officials.

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