Ten policemen shot dead in insider attack in Afghanistan

Afghan official says policeman has turned his weapon on fellow police officers in southern province of Uruzgan killing 10 policemen

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Afghan National Army (ANA) officers participate in a training exercise at the Kabul Military Training Centre in Afghanistan, in this October 7, 2015

A rogue policeman collaborating with militants in southern Afghanistan shot dead 10 colleagues on Tuesday after first poisoning their food, an official said.

The latest in a long series of so-called insider attacks took place at a checkpoint in the Chenartu district of the volatile southern province of Uruzgan, district chief Faiz Mohammad told Reuters.

He said security forces were looking for the policemen and the presumed Taliban allies who joined him in shooting his colleagues in the early hours of Tuesday.

"After the shooting, the policeman and Taliban stole their weapons and burnt the checkpoint and a police vehicle," Faiz Mohammad said.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Uruzgan, which borders the traditional Taliban strongholds of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, was the scene of a similar incident last week when four police shot and killed nine colleagues before joining the Taliban with weapons and equipment.

Insider attacks have been a major problem among security forces struggling with low morale and high desertion rates and there have been repeated instances of police and soldiers going over to the Taliban.

The Taliban, ousted from power in 2001 by US-led forces, have stepped up their insurgency since the withdrawal of most foreign troops in 2014 and have launched a concentrated campaign in Helmand and other southern provinces.

TRTWorld, Reuters