An Afghan official says eight policemen have been killed by a colleague who turned his gun on them at a checkpoint in the volatile southern Zabul province.

Ghulam Jalani Farahi, the province's deputy police chief said Thursday the perpetrator escaped the scene in Qalat, the provincial capital, taking weapons and vehicles.

He says the incident happened at 3 a.m. Thursday.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, telling The Associated Press the shooter "is now with us."

Elsewhere, in the Dihrawud district of Uruzgan province, two policemen were killed by a colleague in an apparent personal dispute, says district police chief Shah Muhammad.

Insider attacks are commonplace among Afghanistan's security forces, often carried out by insurgent infiltrators. The Taliban's war against the Kabul government is in its fifteenth year.