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Afghan Recruit Shoots 2 Americans; U.S. Soldier Suicides Up in July

U.S. soldiers help train Afghan recruits in this Defense Department file photo.

On Friday’s NewsHour, we take a look at the so-called “green-on-blue” shootings in Afghanistan — attacks involving men in Afghan police or army uniforms firing on international troops.

Friday brought two separate incidents. In the Western province of Farah, a new police recruit shot and killed two Americans in an inauguration ceremony. The shooting took place shortly after he received his gun to begin training. Later in the day, an Afghan army soldier fired on international troops in Kandahar Province wounding two.

According to Pentagon data, there have been 29 such attacks so far in 2012 — nearly double the figure from 2011. At least 37 foreign troops have been killed, including 21 Americans. The toll for all of last year was 35 coalition deaths, 24 were Americans.

On Tuesday’s broadcast, Washington Post reporter Kevin Sieff reported from Kabul on the latest violence:

Also on Friday’s NewsHour, we examine suicide rates within the U.S. military.

This week, the Army released its suicide data for July, which showed that 26 active-duty soldiers took their own lives, up from 12 in June. The July figure also was the highest since the Army began reporting monthly suicides in 2009. There have been 116 total this year.

NewsHour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser explored the topic in a 2008 report. Last year, she reported on the U.S. Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative that aims to assist those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq:

We wrote a series of reports on whether Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be called an “injury” instead:

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