KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents killed six policemen and two civilians in southern Afghanistan in a pair of attacks, including an ambush on a checkpoint after militants allegedly poisoned the officers manning the outpost, authorities said Tuesday.
The Helmand province governor's office said in a statement that "insurgents poisoned" the food at a checkpoint in the Nahri Sarraj district and then attacked the police there late Monday. Four policemen were killed and two were wounded in the attack. The bodies of two civilians also were found at the checkpoint.
The governor's office did not say whether the dead were killed by poisoning or in the fighting.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi rejected the government's account of the clashes, saying Taliban fighters attacked the checkpoint and seized weapons and a vehicle but didn't poison the police.
"The way they were fighting, it looked like they might have been on drugs. That's why the police are claiming that we poisoned them," he said. "We didn't."
A government delegation has been sent to the area to investigate.
In neighboring Kandahar province, two Afghan policemen were killed Tuesday morning when their vehicle ran over a roadside bomb in Shah Wali Kot district, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Razaq said.