At least six national policemen have been killed by colleagues in southern Afghanistan, officials say.

Thursday's shooting in the Gereshk district of southern Helmand province is the latest in a series of attacks by Afghan National Security Forces, ANSF, on their colleagues.

Ahmad Zeerak, provincial spokesman, told the AFP news agency on Saturday that "a cook and a policeman first food-poisoned their colleagues in their post, and after they fell unconscious they were shot dead".

"First the cook poisoned his comrades and then he joined the Taliban and decided to shoot them instead," said Farid Ahmad Farhang, a Helmand police spokesman.

A statement from the Helmand provincial government said the assailants killed two officers inside the checkpoint in Gereshk district, while fighters attacked from outside, killing four others before escaping by motorcycle with weapons and ammunition.

The policeman was arrested but the cook, who had previously attempted to poison the officers, remains at large.

In a claim of responsibility, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said eight policemen were killed and their weapons seized.

Elsewhere in Helmand, two officials in Sangin district were ambushed and killed by fighters as they drove car to a tribal
elders' meeting, the provincial governor's office said.

Source: Agencies