SHAFAQNA – An Afghan policeman killed his commander and a district chief in southern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday, in a new “insider attack” in the country after a recent decline. The shooting occurred in the Nawzad district of Helmand province on Monday, according to provincial police spokesman Farid Ahmad Obaid. The policeman killed his commander Shamsullah, who goes by only one name, and district chief Sayed Murad Agha.
Two other people were wounded in the incident, which also left the attacker dead.
“The attacker was wounded in an exchange of fire with the guards and later died in the hospital,” Obaid said.
“We don’t know the motive behind this attack yet,” he added.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the attack on his official Twitter account, saying the policeman had defected to the militants.
Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks recently in an effort to exploit the end of NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of last year after 13 years of fighting.
In the Afghan capital on Tuesday, a roadside bomb killed at least two people and wounded two others, including a woman.
“The car was completely destroyed, there were no military personnel in the area,” Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanakzai told AFP.
The Kabul attack was also claimed by the Taliban.
So-called “insider attacks” in recent years undermined relations between foreign soldiers and the Afghan military, which was being trained to take on the Taliban alone after NATO’s exit.
Insider attacks declined rapidly last year, however, as NATO combat troops closed many outposts and reduced operations. Screening of Afghan army recruits was also tightened.