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Nine Afghan police killed in insider attack, officials say

world Updated: Jan 19, 2016 01:34 IST

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers patrol at an outpost in Helmand province, Afghanistan.(REUTERS File Photo)

Afghan police are looking for rogue policemen who are accused of shooting dead nine colleagues in a so-called insider attack and then stealing their weapons before 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 spokesperson 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 have 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, the 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.