Policemen killed as insurgents strike Indian-run dam construction site in Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents have attacked an Indian-run construction project to build a dam in the western Afghan province of Herat.

Eleven Afghan policemen were killed in the attack and several others wounded, on a weekend when the majority of fighters promised to lay down their weapons as part of a UN Peace Day.

Farad Khamedi, the administrative chief of a neighbouring district, confirmed the deaths. “Eleven guards and two Taliban were killed last night when a group of insurgents attacked Salma Dam in Cheshti Sharif district,” he said.

The dam is being built by Indian engineers, but Khamedi said that no Indian nationals had been killed or wounded.

India is one of the biggest aid donors to Afghanistan, and has pledged around £400m in aid for construction projects. Several Indian construction and telecommunication workers have been killed or kidnapped in Afghanistan in recent years.

Pakistan has denied repeated accusations by the Afghan government against its spy agency, which Afghan officials say supports militant attacks on Indian construction projects in the country.