Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008
Six policemen and one civilian have been killed in a friendly fire attack in southern Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Commander Walter Matthews, a spokesman for the US military in Kabul, said: “One local national and six Afghan national police were killed in Qalat district in Zabul province, during an operation targeting a known Taliban commander.”
Thirteen others were also wounded in the incident that was a case of mistaken identity on both sides, with Afghan police and coalition forces firing on each other, Lt Com Matthews said. It was not clear who opened fire first.
The soldiers used small arms fire and called in air support, but it was not immediately clear how the policemen and civilian were killed, said Lt Com Matthews.
The Afghan Defence and interior ministries, together with the US military, are conducting a joint investigation into the incident.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
The US military deeply regrets this case of mistaken fire, said Lt Com Matthews.
Scores of Afghan civilians have been killed in air strikes by international troops in Afghanistan this year, feeding a perception that Nato and coalition forces do not take enough care when using air strikes.
This article was posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 4:55 am