Afghan cop kills nine colleagues, joins ultras

An Afghan policeman on Friday shot dead nine of his colleagues, including his brother, as they slept and fled with their weapons in a truck to join Taliban ranks in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province, police said. “The incident happened while the shooter was guarding the check point and all other policemen were sleeping,” said Paktika provincial police chief Gen Dawlat Khan Zadran.

The shooter, identified as Asadullah, was in contact with the insurgents in Yahyakhail district in Patkika province and targeted the other fellows as part of a plan, he said. After killings, he gathered all weapons in a police truck and ran away from the area to an unknown location. “The policemen who have been attacked also include the shooter’s brother,” said Zadran, adding the commander of the checkpoint with two of his sons and five others were among the dead.

Mokhlis Aghan, spokesman for the governor of Patkika province, said that two other brothers – policemen – of Asadullah have been arrested for questioning. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. In a text message to the media, Mujahid said: “Last night, one of our four fighters attacked on a security check post, as a result of his attack nince local policemen were killed.” The fighter was able to escape and join other Taliban ranks in the area.

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France arrests Islamic suspects

French police detailed 19 people on Friday as they launched a crackdown on suspected Islamist extremists in cities around the country. President Nicolas Sarkozy said, promising more raids to come. Tensions are high following a spate of killings in southern France by a radical Islamist that left seven people dead and two wounded and ended up with police killing the gunman last week after a 32-hour standoff.

But French Interior Minister Claude Gueant told journalists “there is no known link” between those detained on Friday and Mohamed Merah, the 23-year-old Frenchman who claimed responsibility for the shootings in Toulouse and Montauban. Sarkozy gave no details about the reasons for Friday’s arrests. “It’s in connection with a form of Islamist radicalism,” Sarkozy said. ‘There will be other operations that will continue and that will allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people who have no reason to be here.” He said he didn’t know whether the detainees were part of any network.

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