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Afghan officials say militants have poisoned and shot dead six people at a police outpost in Helmand Province.

The dead are reported to include four police officers and two civilians.

Officials said the killings were carried out in Helmand's Nahri Sarraj district on the evening of April 2.

Helmand police chief Ahmad Nabi Elham said three police officers were missing, and there are suspicions they may have been involved in the killings.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed the Islamic militia was responsible.

But he denied the Taliban had used poison, adding: "The way they were fighting, it looked like [the police] might have been on drugs."

The deaths come after an Afghan policeman last week poisoned and shot dead nine of his colleagues in Paktika Province.

With reporting AP, AFP, and dpa
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