At-least An Afghan police commander and 13 junior officers have joined the Taliban in the western Afghan province of Farah, in what correspondents say could be the biggest defection by police.
They say the commander, named as Mirwais, was in charge of a 20-man checkpoint when he defected on Sunday.
The men are said to have taken heavy weaponry, radios and police vehicles including US-made armoured Humvees.
Farah is one of the most insecure areas in the relatively peaceful west.
The commander was based in Shewan village in the district of Bala Bulak, which was until recently considered a Taliban stronghold.
The mujahideen were driven out of the area following a series of operations carried out by Afghan security forces. But local officials say mujahideen have regrouped in the area recently.
"Mirwais and his policemen had joined the force nearly two and half years ago. Mirwais had fought the insurgents in this area for quite some time," an Afghan intelligence official in the region told .
Officials said that the equipment taken by the defectors - rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, radios and police vehicles, including two Humvees - will be a major boost to the Taliban in the area.
this is believed to be the biggest police defection to the insurgents. Over the past few years similar incidents have taken place on a much smaller scale in the southern provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Zabul, Uruzgan and in Ghor, Farah, Badghis and Herat in the west.
Such incidents have rarely been reported in the Afghan media
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Location: Farah, Afghanistan (load item map)
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