ISLAMABAD - US forces in Afghanistan have stepped up efforts to purge Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) ostensibly of followers of Taliban and Haqqani Network to stem the rising number of insider attacks that so far killed 45 Nato-led troops this year.

The move comes after US authorities failed to secure a deal with Haqqani Network seeking guarantees for safe exit of international forces by 2014, and has now threatened to declare the so called group as a terrorist entity.

US Congress is set to consider the issue on September 9 when Secretary Hilary Clinton would present her report to the Congress whether Haqqani Network should be declared a terrorist entity. Some diplomatic sources told The Nation on Thursday that US threat to declare Haqqani Network terrorist entity was the last ditch effort to put pressure on Haqqani group to come the US terms. Meanwhile, Afghanistan Defence Ministry has also confirmed the other day that hundreds of soldiers have either been detained or sacked for having links to insurgents.

The announcement apparently came after Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to express his concern over what has been described as green-on-blue attacks. The scrutiny of 195,000-strong Afghan National Army (ANA) was launched about six months ago, which also led to suspension of US training of the Afghan Local Police (ALP).

ISAF deputy commander from UK, Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, acknowledged that the training of some 1,000 Afghan Local Police (ALP) recruits has been temporarily put on hold in order to allow for an intensive re-vetting process to take place for the 16,300 current members of the ALP.

In a statement Gen. Bradshaw said this precautionary measure is in response to concerns by Afghan, U.S. and other Coalition commanders over recent insider threat incidents.

He said that the measures being applied to ANA special forces and ALP personnel reflects the intensive effort to recheck the vetting status of the some 350,000 ANSF personnel as part of a number of actions recently instituted to reinforce existing precautions related to the insider threat.

"Much of this re-vetting task has already been completed and numbers of individuals, where vetting status has been found to be in doubt, have been suspended pending further investigation, or removed from the force", ISAF Deputy commander added.

According to the sources, the synergy between the Afghan government and military and the Coalition forces has already resulted in several concrete measures to defeat the insider threat.

Among the new initiatives being implemented are improvements to the vetting process for new recruits; increasing the number of counterintelligence teams; introduction of interview procedures for ANA soldiers returning from leave.

The measures also include a new warning and reporting system for insider threats; enhanced intelligence exchange between the ANSF and ISAF; establishment of an anonymous reporting system; improved training for counter-intelligence agents; establishment of a joint investigation commission when insider threats occur; and enhanced cultural training to include visits to Coalition home training centers by Afghan Cultural and Religious Affairs advisers, which have been authorized by President Hamid Karzai.