Cops turn robbers in brazen heist

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IOL Afghanistan Police Academy AP File photo: Afghan National Police officers line up for breakfast after prayers at the police academy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Kunar, Afghanistan - Three Afghan policemen guarding a bank turned robbers, stealing more than $200 000 from a branch in the east of the country, an official said on Saturday.

One of the rogue cops is on the run after his two accomplices were nabbed following Friday's heist. Most of the 12 million afghanis ($222,760) looted from a branch of state-owned Afghanistan Bank in Nuristan province had been recovered, said regional governor Tameem Nooristani.

“Two policemen have been detained with 9.5 million afghanis of the stolen money but the search for the third culprit is ongoing,” Nooristani said.

Afghanistan's Western-backed government has promised to make law and order a priority ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops by the end of 2014, but discipline is a major problem among a 140 000-strong police force often accused of corruption and human rights abuses. - Reuters

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