Afghan police say nine village police officers have been shot dead by a colleague in the eastern Paktika province.—File Photo

KABUL: An Afghan policeman killed nine of his fellow officers as they lay sleeping in a village in the eastern Paktika province on Friday, police said, blaming the attack on the Taliban.

Provincial police chief Dawlat Khan Zadran said the incident took place in Yayakhil town of Yayakhil district.

Bowal Khan, chief of Yayakhil district, identified the gunman as Asadullah, who goes by one name. He said the gunman was assigned to a small command post when he woke up at 3 am for guard duty. He then used his assault rifle to kill the nine men sleeping inside the post, took their weapons and piled them in a pickup truck.

According to Khan, Asadullah then sped away in the truck.

Khan said the victims included one of his brothers and the commander of the post, identified as Mohammad Ramazan. He said two of the dead were Ramazan's sons.

The motive for the killing was not known, but police in the area blamed the Taliban for the attack. Paktika is a stronghold of the Haqqani network with ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Although they mostly attack US-led coalition forces, they have often carried out assaults and bombings against the Afghan army and police.

''This man is a coward. What he did is part of the Taliban conspiracy,'' Khan said.

Khan and Zadran said the killer's two brothers were being held for questioning.

In an unrelated incident, a motorcycle bomb parked by the side of a road exploded on Friday and killed an Afghan police officer and wounded another in Sangin district of southwest Helmand province, police said. They added that another police officer was shot and killed late Thursday outside his house in the capital of Helmand.

Opinion

Editorial

Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...