The weekend killings marked an escalation of insider attacks on international troops here that coincided with Muslim rage worldwide that was sparked by a video that defames the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was unclear, however, whether the shootings were connected to the video, “Innocence of Muslims,” snippets of which can be seen on the Internet.
Even so, the inflammatory video and insider killings have had a significant impact on U.S. military and Afghan army operations in some areas during the past three days. Top NATO officers ordered their field commanders to conduct risk assessments and determine whether to postpone or scale back some missions in response to the recent Afghan anger.
In Wardak province, a restive area south of Kabul, some commanders appeared to misinterpret the guidance and postponed several major operations for three days. Because Afghan army commanders in Wardak were reluctant to patrol without support from U.S. troops, they also chose to cancel the planned missions.