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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 16:06 UK

Afghan policeman 'kills soldier'

Police in Afghanistan
There are fears that Afghanistan's police force has been infiltrated

An Afghan policeman has killed a US soldier on foot patrol in Afghanistan, the second incident of its kind in less than a month, the US military says.

It says that the policeman was in a tower and opened fire and tossed a hand grenade on the patrol as it returned to a base in the east of the country.

The US says that members of the patrol returned fire, killing the policeman.

In September, a Nato soldier was shot dead by an Afghan policeman in the eastern province of Paktia.

A US military statement did not explain why the latest incident happened, only that it was being investigated.

Correspondents say that it is likely to raise concerns that militants may have infiltrated the Afghan police force.

In a separate incident, a US-led coalition member was killed and several others wounded in eastern Afghanistan after "a possible errant mortar round" aimed for insurgents hit their patrol, the US military said.

The statement did not say exactly where the incident happened.

The AP news agency says that Thursday's deaths mean that the number of international soldiers to lose their lives this year in Afghanistan has now reached 230.

There are around 60,000 troops from nearly 40 countries helping the government to fight the Taleban-led insurgency.


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