(Newsroom America) -- A huge rise in attacks on U.S. and NATO forces by Taliban-friendly militants who have infiltrated Afghan security forces has led the International Security Assistance Force to suspend all mentoring operations with police and army units.
The order was issued by the second most senior U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. James Terry, and applies to all front-line missions involving units smaller than an 800-strong battalion, Reuters reported.
NATO stressed that it still planned to hand off all security functions to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, however.
A dramatic rise in so-called "insider" attacks - four U.S. personnel were shot and killed in the most recent attack on Monday - have led to the change in procedure, said by NATO to be temporary.
A senior NATO spokesman, U.S. Army Col. said the order was only a "temporary and prudent response" to current threats of insider attacks, as well as mounting anger over a film made by a Coptic Christian man in California weeks ago that mocks the Prophet Mohammed, Islam's most holy figure.
"It will apply only until the threat level returns to a tolerable level," said Collins, adding that separate training missions would be unaffected and the scaling back would apply only to smaller front-line and field troops.
NATO air support for Afghan forces as well as medical missions would also not be affected, Collins said.
At least 51 NATO troops have been killed so far this year by insider attacks, reports have said.
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