8 Afghan soldiers killed in US airstrike
PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): Eight Afghan soldiers were killed and another half a dozen wounded on Monday morning when two US helicopters bombed their outpost in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, officials said.
A senior Afghan National Army (ANA) commander said the airstrike followed an attack by Taliban insurgents on convoy of the district chief heading to the site.
The airstrike involved two US helicopters that targeted the ANA outpost at 6:00am in Chaltan area.
Gen. Abdul Raziq Sapai, a senior commander of the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Thunder Military Corps, told Pajhwok Afghan News eight soldiers had died and six more were wounded in the incident. “The incident happened at a time when there were no clashes in the area and foreign troops had not been asked for help.”
He added the two helicopters attacked the post when a hoisted Afghan flag was clearly visible at the post.
He said military vehicles and other signs indicated it was an army post. He continued the American troops had committed such mistakes in the past and had later apologised.
Sapai said he had submitted a report to the officials in Kabul about the incident, accusing foreign forces of dragging feet when called for help in the time of need.
The official said the district chief’s convoy was attacked by Taliban on the way to the post. The ensuing clash lasted half an hour, but nobody was hurt, he said.
Earlier, Mohammad Rahim Amin, the Baraki Barak district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 10 ANA soldiers had been killed and four others wounded in the friendly fire.
President Ashraf Ghani expressed his concern over the incident and ordered a thorough investigation.
Gen. Zahir Azimi, Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman, tweeted that a delegation had been sent to the area to investigate the incident.
American forces in Kabul also confirmed the incident, saying investigations were ongoing. “We are aware of an incident involving US forces in Logar province this morning. This incident is under investigation,” the coalition said in a statement.
Mohammad Tahir, a local resident, said: “Today morning two helicopters attacked the army post where Afghan flags were hoisted and killed all the soldiers inside.” For some moments, he added, firing was heard from the post.
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