Ramadan Fasting Fueling Afghan Attacks on Troops

Coalition commander suggests it could be raising stress
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 8:20 AM CDT
Ramadan Fasting Fueling Afghan Attacks on Troops
FILE - In this May 23, 2012 file photo, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

First Hamid Karzai suggested the attacks by Afghan forces on US troops and other allies were really occurring at the hands of "foreign spies." Now American and Afghan officials are suggesting a surprising alternative: Ramadan. Officials say it isn't the main cause; however, they believe that the brutal summer heat plus the stress of fasting all through the day is at least contributing to the surge of "green on blue" violence, reports the AP. Muslims forsake food and drink in daylight hours during Ramadan, which falls at a slightly different time each year in accordance with a lunar calendar.

This year, it coincided with the heat of the summer, and coalition commander Marine Gen. John R. Allen said officials took precautions. "We were very careful, actually, during Ramadan this year to undertake operations during those times that would not place great physical strain on the troops—their troops, as well as ours—given the partnership requirements." But allied leaders aren't discounting the possibility of foreign spies either. "I'm looking forward to Afghanistan providing us with the intelligence that permits them to come to that conclusion," said Allen. (Read more Gen. John Allen stories.)

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