An Afghan police officer suspected of collaborating with the Taliban militant group has drugged and shot dead at least five fellow officers in the country's southern province of Kandahar, officials say.
Brigadier General Rahmatullah Atrafi, the provincial deputy police chief, said on Thursday that the incident took place the previous night at a checkpoint in the Zhari district of the province, when an armed man in Afghan police uniform turned his weapon on his colleagues.
He added that five policemen were killed and seven others wounded. They had fallen asleep after being drugged.
Samim Khpalwak, the provincial governor spokesman, also confirmed the incident.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi later claimed responsibility for the assault.
On February 2, at least four police officers lost their lives when nine men clad in Afghan police uniform opened fire on them in the country’s northwestern province of Badghis.
Ten policemen were killed on January 26 after a man wearing an Afghan police uniform shot them in the Chinartoo district of the central province of Uruzgan. A week earlier, nine policemen were shot dead in the same province by at least four men disguised in police uniforms.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity more than 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.