Afghan Policeman Kills 9 Sleeping Fellow Officers
Officials blame Taliban for attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 30, 2012 8:34 AM CDT
In this Thursday, March 15, 2012 file photo, members of the Afghan Public Protection Force stand in formation on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Jamshid, File)

(Newser) – An Afghan policeman killed nine of his fellow officers as they lay sleeping in a village in the eastern Paktika province today, police said, blaming the attack on the Taliban. The gunman was assigned to a small command post when he woke up at 3am 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 before speeding away in the truck.

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, a Pakistani-based group 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. Meanwhile, NATO said today that two of its service members were killed in southern Afghanistan. They said one died in a roadside bomb explosion today and the other one in an insurgent attack that took place yesterday.