ISLAMABAD - At least seven police officers were killed in a suspected insider attack in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, authorities said.
The early morning incident Thursday happened at a security outpost in the district of Arghandab.
Officials said the slain members of the Afghan Local police, or ALP, were asleep when three of their colleagues sprayed them with bullets and fled the scene along with the victims' weapons and ammunition.
Taliban claim responsibility
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility and said the attackers safely rejoined the insurgent ranks.
The ALP is a community policing system established about six years ago to protect villages and remote districts around Afghanistan because of the insufficient presence of army and police forces there.
Provincial authorities have launched an investigation into the deadly attack in Kandahar, which borders Pakistan.
Insider attacks have killed up to 30 Afghan security forces since the beginning of the year and the Taliban has claimed responsibility for most of them.
Meanwhile, clashes between supporters of rival warlords in Maimana, the capital of the northern province of Faryab, left at least one person dead and wounded several others on Thursday, provincial police officials said.
The violence involved loyalists of ethnic Uzbek Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and the governor of neighboring Balkh province, Atta Mohammad Noor, an ethnic Tajik leader.
The trouble happened after thousands of Dostum supporters had gathered for a rally to protest the defacing or removal of billboards in Balkh featuring the Afghan vice president.
Afghan security forces intervened and brought the situation under control, officials say, adding tensions still prevailed in the region.