SKorea: Afghan security guards staged attack on SKorean base in northern Afghanistan

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Afghan authorities have found that local guards staged a fake rocket attack in June on the construction site of a South Korean base in an apparent scam to get more danger pay, South Korean officials said Friday.

There were no casualties or damages from the June attack on the site that would become the base for a South Korean reconstruction team in the northern province of Parwan, Foreign Ministry official Lim Jung-taek said.

Some of the security personnel fired two rounds of rocket-propelled grenades at the site and their accomplices at the site also opened fire in a staged exchange, the official said. The guards were among the 120 local security detail and dozens of South Korean construction workers who were at the site when the rockets fell, Lim said.

Lim, the ministry's director for foreign press relations, said Afghan officials told Seoul that the fake attack appeared to have been staged in a bid to receive more danger allowance. He did not say when the investigations would end or what consequences the guards might face.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that four guards had been detained, citing unidentified ministry officials. However, Lim was not able to confirm that.

The incident occurred one day before the reconstruction team was to officially launch its mission in Afghanistan, causing alarm in South Korea, which previously had withdrawn troops from Afghanistan.

South Korea withdrew troops from the war-stricken country in 2007 after the Taliban killed two of its citizens in a hostage standoff while demanding that Seoul immediately remove its forces.

Last month, Seoul deployed a provincial reconstruction team of 48 South Korean civilian aid workers and eight policemen to Afghanistan. About 230 South Korean troops are also stationed there to protect the team.