Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
August 7, 2018
NATO says it is investigating reports that at least nine Afghan police officers were killed in a U.S. air strike during a battle against Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi earlier said nine police were killed and 14 wounded in the strike in the Azra district of Logar Province.
During the overnight battle, police “called in air support but unfortunately foreign forces mistakenly bombed their positions,” Rahimi said.
The Taliban also suffered heavy losses, he said.
Resolute Support, NATO’s mission to support and train local forces in Afghanistan, confirmed U.S. forces had conducted an air strike “in defense of Afghan forces” in Azra district but did not mention casualties.
“We are looking into the matter further,” spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell said.
There are about 14,000 U.S. ground troops in Afghanistan, making up the bulk of Resolute Support.
Also in Logar Province, four women were shot dead and four children were wounded when they were caught in the crossfire during a battle between militants and Afghan troops.
Hasibullah Stanikzai, a provincial council member, said the incident occurred on August 6 near Pul-e Alim, the provincial capital.
Meanwhile, at least 14 police officers were killed in the Qiagh Valley of the southeastern Ghazni Province on August 6 after suspected Taliban insurgents attacked a series of checkpoints.
The attack set off a firefight that lasted over two hours, said Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a provincial council member.
In the western Farah Province, four Afghan soldiers were killed and six were wounded in an attack by Taliban militants on a checkpoint, a local official said.
Mohammad Naser Mehri, the provincial governor’s spokesman, says the attack began late on August 6 and lasted into the morning of August 7 in the Bala Buluk district.
The Afghan air force was called in and air strikes later killed 19 Taliban fighters and wounded 30, Mehri said.
With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters