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Taliban insurgent kills 4 Afghan policemen

Written by: Staff

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Apr 2 (Reuters) A Taliban insurgent shot dead four Afghan policemen as they slept after pretending to be a traveller looking for a place to spend the night, police said today.

The police let the man stay at their checkpoint and fed him dinner but at night he grabbed a policeman's rifle and shot the four dead, said Amanullah, a police official in the southern province of Helmand.

''The Taliban guy then fled and we're trying to find him,'' Amanullah said. The attack happened on Friday night.

Helmand is a hotbed of insurgency and Afghanistan's main opium-growing area.

Violence has flared across the Afghan south in recent days since the Taliban said they had launched a spring offensive in their campaign to oust US and other foreign troops and overthrow the Western-backed government.

Taliban torched four fuel trucks in Helmand on Saturday as they were returning from delivering supplies to a foreign military base, police said. The drivers were not harmed.

About 3,300 British troops will soon be based in Helmand as part of a plan for NATO members to take over responsibility for the dangerous south and east from US forces.

Reuters CH BD1704

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