Taliban kill nine police officers in AfghanistanMarch 26th, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS
Kabul, March 26 (DPA) Taliban militants attacked a police checkpoint in south0ern Afghanistan Thursday, killing nine police officers and seized their weapons, police officials said.
The militants tossed hand grenades at the police post in Gerishk district of the southern Helmand province Thursday morning before shooting the policemen inside the post, said Kamaludin Khan, the deputy provincial police chief.
“Nine policemen were killed in grenade explosions and (the) firefight,” Khan said, adding that the militants escaped before reinforcements arrived.
Afghanistan’s interior ministry also confirmed the deaths of the nine policemen and termed the attack “a cowardly action by the enemies of Afghanistan”.
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousfi Ahmadi claimed over telephone from an undisclosed location that their fighters killed 11 police personnel in their pre-dawn attack and seized their weapons.
He said the militants left the area shortly after taking over the post.
Several units of Afghan police forces and army troops were deployed in the area to track down the attackers, Khan said.
Helmand, along with the neighbouring provinces of Kandahar, Zabul and Uruzgan, is the main hub for Taliban-led insurgents. The region last year witnessed the toughest fighting between Afghan forces backed by NATO troops and the Taliban.
The poorly trained and equipped Afghan police have borne the brunt of Taliban attacks in the past seven years since their ouster of the Taliban’s ultra-Islamic regime in late 2001.
More than 2,300 police forces lost their lives in country’s conflict in 2007 and 2008, according to the interior ministry.
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