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    Posted: 24-Mar-2017 at 11:07am

Taliban capture key Afghan district; 9 police killed

Taliban capture key Afghan district; 9 police killed

 

The Taliban captured a key district centre in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Thursday while in the country's north, an officer turned his rifle on sleeping colleagues, killing nine policemen in the latest "insider attack".

Helmand, which accounts for the bulk of Afghanistan's billion dollar opium crop, is already largely in the hands of the Taliban but the capture of Sangin - where US and British forces once suffered heavy casualties - underlines its growing strength in the south.

The district's police chief, Mohammad Rasoul, said the Taliban overran Sangin centre early Thursday.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi issued a statement claiming the Taliban capture of the district. He said the area had been bombarded by foreign forces following the withdrawal of Afghan troops and police, causing heavy damage to buildings and infrastructure.

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