Afghan police join Taliban-led insurgents

July 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, July 4 (UPI) -- Members of a force created as part of a U.S. effort to stop the spread of the insurgency in Afghanistan have joined Taliban-led insurgents, officials said.

One Afghan security official put the number of Afghan Local Police who joined the Taliban-led insurgents at 41 in what is apparently the first surrender of its kind by ALP members, The Washington Post reported.

The ALP was set up under a U.S. initiative in 2010 to help the NATO coalition and Afghan troops stop the influence and spread of the insurgency, the Post said.

The ALP members who jointed the insurgents in the northwestern province of Badghis had been armed with assault rifles, Ghulam Sarwar, a local lawmaker, said, citing a provincial official.

"This [surrender] may not have a big impact on the security situation of the area, but raises doubts about the loyalties of those employed by Afghan Local Police," Sarwar said.

The Taliban said 86 ALP members had joined its ranks.

The Post said dozens of ALP members had been killed in Taliban attacks in recent months.

The ALP, which has won praise from supporters, has more than 10,000 members mostly in the southern and eastern parts of Afghanistan where the Taliban are active.

The Post said its members include some men accused of war crimes and other abuses.

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