Officials in Afghanistan say four officers of the national intelligence agency shot dead 16 of their colleagues, then fled to join the Taliban insurgency in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.
The rare "insiders" attack last night a facility of the National Security Directorate or NDS in the Gerishk region, security sources told VOA on Sunday.
Omar Zawak, the provincial government spokesman, confirmed the incident by saying the Taliban also attacked the NDS when the insurgent attack was (19659002) Zawak said the two sides suffered heavy casualties but gave no further details.
The Afghan officer killed was a member of the 'Songaryan' unit working for NDS in Helmand . The unit was named after the popular Turkish television soap opera and had played a key role in gathering intelligence information for NDS in Afghanistan.
The rebels controlled or seized most of the 14 regions in Helmand, Afghanistan's largest province and one of the main producing regions opium in the world.
Illegal drug trafficking funds 65 percent of rebel activity, and the US military has recently deployed new air strikes to destroy drug laboratories in an effort to stop Taliban financial resources in Helmand, which borders Pakistan. [gp]