Afghan police unit said to join Taliban

Nov. 1, 2010 at 4:11 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The Taliban seized an Afghan town without firing a shot Monday and it appeared the police force switched sides, authorities said.

Mohammed Yasin, chief of police in Khogeyani in eastern Ghazni province, told the New York Times the whole contingent on duty Monday morning seemed to have defected.

"This was not an attack but a plot," he said. "The Taliban and the police made a deal."

A Taliban spokesman told the Times fighters contacted the force, cut a deal, and then sacked and burned the station. As many as 19 officers vanished, along with their weapons, trucks, uniforms and food.

The raid occurred before dawn without a shot being fired and the army took control a few hours later, provincial spokesman Ismail Jihangir told the Los Angeles Times.

NATO forces were not involved, the alliance said.

The main highway between Kabul and Kandahar passes through Ghazni and NATO convoys are often attacked there.

"The security situation is very bad in Ghazni. In many parts of the province, the government has no control," said Qayum Sajadi, a member of Parliament.

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