(Newsroom America) -- A brand-new Afghan National Police officer gunned down two of his American military allies Thursday shortly after being given his weapon following an inauguration ceremony.
The shooting was just the latest in a string of so-called "green-on-blue" attacks in what has become an alarming trend in the war-torn country.
A week ago, a member of the Afghan National Army turned his weapon on foreign troops in a different part of the country, wounding two, NATO officials said.
Combined, there have been seven instances where members of Afghanistan's security forces have opened fire on U.S. and coalition troops in the past two weeks.
Such attacks were virtually unheard of a few years ago but have spiked in recent months. Some military analysts believe the attacks are the result of a new tactic being employed by the Taliban, as a way of inflicting more casualties on allied troops.
In all, 36 U.S. and NATO troops have been killed this year in such attacks.
The latest attack occurred in the western province of Farah was identified as Mohammad Ismail, a man in his 30s who had joined the Afghan Local Police just five days ago, The Associated Press reported.
He opened fire during following an inauguration attended by American and Afghan forces in the Kinisk village, the Farah provincial police chief Agha Noor Kemtoz said.
"As soon as they gave the weapon to Ismail to begin training, suddenly he took the gun and opened fire toward the U.S. soldiers," Kemtoz said.
U.S. and Afghan forces returned fire, killing Ismail, said reports.
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