KABUL — Ten Afghan policemen were killed in an apparent insider attack at a remote checkpoint by an officer who then deserted and joined the Taliban, officials said Tuesday.
A spokesman for the governor of Uruzgan province said the attack late Monday occurred in Chinaro district, located about 240 miles southwest of Kabul.
Spokesman Dost Mohammad Nayaab said the officer first drugged his colleagues before shooting them. He then collected all the guns and ammunition stored at the post and defected to the Taliban.
In a statement on their website, the insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack and said they had received all the stolen weapons.
It wasn’t immediately clear what prompted the officer, who served in the police force for over two years, to change sides, Dost said.
He said police reinforcements were sent in on Tuesday to recapture the checkpoint. After a firefight with the Taliban, the police reoccupied the post.
Insider attacks in the Afghan security forces are fairly common, especially in the police force. Last week, nine police officers were killed in Dehrawad District of Uruzgan province by three of their colleagues who also defected to the insurgents.
So-called green-on-blue attacks accounted for a large proportion of casualties suffered by U.S. and other NATO troops between 2007 and 2012. But they dropped off significantly with the withdrawal of the vast majority of coalition forces at the end of 2014.
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.