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9 more deaths 1 day after 6 US soldiers were shot dead yesterday

Two Afghan policemen have shot dead a senior commander and eight other officers, the latest in a string of attacks by rogue security forces that are poisoning efforts to build up the police and army as foreign troops head home.

The attack in south-western Nimruz province near the Iranian border on Saturday was the fifth in less than a week to involve men in uniform turning on their comrades or foreign trainers.

The attackers were local men who had only signed up for the police three months ago, said Shakila Hakimi, head of the Nimruz provincial council. In an added twist, the pair targeted the man who had vouched for their trustworthiness, the provincial head of criminal investigations, Abdul Hadi Azizi, said.

Mohammad Eesa was based in the provincial capital, but was making a brief visit to the troubled Delaram district to discuss the security situation, he said. "These two man came yesterday because they knew Eesa and through him had been introduced to the district police chief and got their weapons and uniform," Azizi said by phone, after visiting the site of the shooting.

The men opened fire in the yard of the district police chief's office, killing Eesa and eight others, and wounding another man before they were themselves shot, he added. "This was a very sophisticated effort by the insurgents," Azizi said. "Eesa was a good guy, very honest. He was cheated by these two guys as he didn't know they had a connection with the Taliban."

The insurgent group claimed credit for the attack, which came just a day after policemen shot dead six US soldiers in neighbouring Helmand province.

It was the bloodiest single day for foreign troops in the province since six British soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in early March, and a grim reminder of the growing threat foreign forces face not just from the Taliban but also from their supposed allies.


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