An Afghan police officer is believed to have turned on his fellow officers at their post near a checkpoint in the country's south, paving the way for Taliban insurgents to raid the area, stealing weapons and ammunition, officials said on Tuesday.
The incident reportedly occurred late Monday night at the police post in the Chinartu district of Uruzgan province when a police officer who was affiliated with the Taliban poisoned 10 other police officers by contaminating their food and then shot them in the head after inviting Taliban fighters to the post, said District Chief Faiz Mohammad, according to The New York Times.
Afghan forces arrived the next morning to find the post under Taliban control. A firefight between the two parties ensued, and the insurgents - along with the turncoat - fled with the weapons and ammunition they stole, after dealing a moderate amount of damage to the area.
"They burned the check post and a police vehicle, and also took the weapons with them," Mohammad said. "The police officer who paved the way for the Taliban managed to escape with the Taliban."
Though all indications suggested that the Taliban were responsible for the incident since it is the only known group of active insurgents in the region, the group later confirmed its involvement in the incident, saying it took over the Chinartu police post Monday night and stole nine AK-47s, three rocket launchers and a variety of other weapons, according to CNN.
"The Taliban carried out a tactical attack, plus received help from inside," said the spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi. "This is not the work of one individual to kill and confiscate weapons and demolish the check post."
The Taliban has waged an insurgency since a U.S.-led military operation in 2001 drove it out of power. In particular, insider attacks have been on the rise in Afghanistan, especially in areas where the Taliban has a strong presence, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Two such incidents occurred last week when a policeman from the same checkpoint opened fire on his colleagues, killing nine of them. On the same day, four other policemen were killed when another turncoat opened fire upon them at a checkpoint in Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand province.