Afghan policemen killed in Kandahar .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} KABUL - An Afghan provincial police chief and up to nine policemen died in a shootout with local security guards trained by U.S. troops in the southern city of Kandahar on Monday, authorities said.

The gunfight erupted outside the offices of the provincial attorney general in Kandahar, which has suffered heavily from violence linked to a Taliban-led insurgency.

Afghan security guards went to the offices to free a prisoner when the attorney general's staff called for police help, said interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary. "The Kandahar police chief came to the area to assess the situation himself," Bashary told Agence France-Presse.

"As he arrives, these armed men open fire and start a clash as a result of which the police chief, the police criminal investigation chief and two other policemen have been killed," he said. Five more policemen were wounded, he added. Meanwhile, President Hamid Karzai blamed Afghan guards working for U.S. coalition forces for the killings and he demanded that American forces hand over the guards involved, according to an account by The Associated Press.