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Soldiers from the Afghan army. — Photo by AP/File

KABUL: Hundreds of Afghan soldiers have been arrested or expelled over a rising number of attacks on Nato colleagues, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.

On more than 30 occasions so far this year, members of the Afghan security forces have opened fire on their Western allies, killing at least 45 foreign troops — the majority of them American.

Defence ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi told a news conference on Wednesday that the attacks were “a matter of concern” for the Afghan government.

“So far, hundreds of people have either been arrested or expelled from the army. We have found evidence against some people and some suspicious people have been arrested,” he said.

When asked by reporters for further details, Azimi gave no breakdown on precise numbers.

“All the soldiers who have been either arrested or expelled are Afghans, there are not foreigners among them,” he said.

On Sunday, the US military announced that its special forces have suspended training for about 1,000 Afghan police recruits to vet existing members.

Taliban insurgents claim responsibility for many of the attacks, saying their fighters have infiltrated the army and police, but Nato says the most incidents are due to cultural differences and personal animosities.