Afghan police are looking for rogue policemen accused of shooting dead nine colleagues in a so-called insider attack before stealing their weapons and fleeing to join the Taliban, local officials said on Monday.
The gunmen shot the men at a police checkpoint on Sunday evening in the volatile southern province of Uruzgan, Dost Mohammad Nayab, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
"A preliminary investigation shows that up to four policemen carried out the attack," he said. "An operation is underway to arrest those responsible."
The Taliban has not yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The militant group last year claimed responsibility for assassinating the provincial police chief and then his successor over a period of six weeks.
Last year was one of the bloodiest on record in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of most foreign troops at the end of 2014.
In recent months, Taliban have won territory in the southern province of Helmand, briefly captured the northern city of Kunduz, and carried out a series of suicide attacks in the capital, underlining how hard Afghan government forces are finding fighting on their own.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan before a US-led coalition occupied the country and helped form a new government in 2001.
Even though the Taliban lost control of the country control following the US invasion in 2001, it was able to re-establish itself in some districts between 2005 and 2009.
On Monday, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States held talks in an attempt to end an almost 15-year war between the US-supported government forces and Taliban militants.