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U.S. confers on Afghan 'insider' attacks

KABUL -- The U.S. military's top general met with American, coalition and local officials Monday in Afghanistan to try to stop a wave of lethal attacks by Afghan soldiers and police against international forces.

Once an anomaly, attacks on international troops from inside the Afghan security forces have been climbing. There have been 32 such attacks so far this year, up from 21 for all of 2011, according to NATO.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, landed at Bagram Air Field outside Kabul earlier in the day. Dempsey and the chief of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. James R. Mattis, met with NATO and U.S. Afghan commander Gen. John Allen and discussed the progress of the Afghanistan campaign, a statement issued by the coalition said.

In the statement, Allen said they discussed "how to maintain momentum against the insurgents," adding that international forces continued to support a push to train and equip Afghans in preparation for the departure of most international combat forces at the end of 2014. "The campaign remains on track," Allen said.

Dempsey and Mattis also met with several senior Afghan and coalition leaders, the statement said.

Ahead of the talks, Jamie Graybeal, a spokesman for international forces in Afghanistan said Dempsey would be bringing up the rising number of attacks by Afghan forces.

"He's certainly talking about a number of issues, including progress with the [military] campaign and the like," Graybeal said. "He's also obviously talking about the insider attacks."

In the latest such attack Sunday, two Afghan policemen turned their weapons on U.S. troops in Kandahar province, killing an American service member, officials said. That raised the toll to 10 U.S. troops killed in such attacks in just two weeks.

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