March 20, 2012 / 2:42 PM / 5 years ago

Insider attacks kill 13 NATO soldiers so far in 2011 - Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Thirteen members of the NATO-led Western military coalition in Afghanistan have been killed so far this year in what appear to be "insider" attacks by members of the Afghan security forces, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces there said on Tuesday.

U.S. General John Allen, in prepared testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, also said that the United States and its allies remain on track to ensure Afghanistan will not once more be a safe haven for Al Qaeda and will not be terrorized by the Taliban.

Allen appears before Congress as the Obama administration seeks to overcome a series of setbacks in the long fight in Afghanistan, including Afghans' outcry over the burning of copies of the Koran on a NATO base last month and the killings last week of 16 Afghan civilians, reportedly by a U.S. soldier.

Reporting by Missy Ryan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Anthony Boadle

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