Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Afghan police recruit kills three

An Afghan policeman taking part in a training course has opened fire on his instructors, killing two Spanish police officers and their interpreter, Spain's interior minister has said.

The recruit was subsequently shot and killed by Spanish officers who had been conducting a police training course at their base in Badghis province, Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.

The officers were members of a paramilitary unit that falls under the command of Spain's Defence Ministry, whose spokesman in Madrid said the motive for the attack was unknown.

Afghan officials also reported the death of an Afghan police officer in an exchange with Spanish police in Badghis' Qalay-I-Naw district, but said they were still investigating the incident. Afghan officials had initially said the exchange of fire involved Spanish soldiers.

Majid Khan Shkib, a member of the provincial council, said there were suspicions that Taliban fighters active in the remote area had infiltrated the local police force - an increasingly common tactic among the insurgents.

Following the officer's shooting, hundreds of area residents gathered at the gate to the Spanish camp, chanting and throwing stones before moving on to the provincial government offices, the Afghan officials said.

The international security force said it had been told of the incident and was investigating.

Intentional shootings by Afghans against coalition partners have occurred previously, but are still rare. Two American civilians and two Afghan soldiers were killed last month when an Afghan soldier who trained others at a base outside the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif started shooting during a weapons exercise

Earlier this month, an Afghan soldier killed three British service members with gunfire and a rocket-propelled grenade at night. The soldier fled after that attack, leaving his motive unclear. But the Taliban claimed that he was a militant sympathiser taken in by insurgents after the assault.

In April, a US Army trainer was killed by a suicide bomber who gained entry to the Afghan base after stealing an Afghan army uniform, while last November, an Afghan policeman killed five British soldiers at a checkpoint in Helmand.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph