Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
August 8, 2018
The U.S. military says it has determined that no Afghan security forces were killed in an air strike during a battle against the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan earlier this week.
A U.S. Forces-Afghanistan spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell, said in a statement e-mailed to RFE/RL on August 8 that the assessment was based on a review of footage from the strike and “first-hand accounts from Afghan security force leaders and members present during the incident.”
The military a day earlier said it was investigating reports that nine police were killed and 14 wounded in its air strike in Logar Province’s Azrah district.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said that during an overnight battle against the Taliban, police “called in air support, but unfortunately foreign forces mistakenly bombed their positions.”
The Taliban also suffered heavy losses, he said.
There are about 14,000 U.S. ground troops in Afghanistan, making up the bulk of NATO’s Resolute Support force.
Also on August 8, eight civilians, including women and children, were reported killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the northern province of Balkh.
Six other civilians were wounded in the explosion, which happened in Shulgar district, said Sher Jan Durrani, the spokesman for the provincial police chief.
Durrani blamed the attack on the Taliban.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in the western Herat Province, killing eight police, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman.
Gelani Farhad, the spokesman for the provincial governor, said six insurgents were killed in the ensuing gunbattle.
Meanwhile, the bodies of three Czech soldiers killed in a suicide bombing claimed by the Taliban in Afghanistan arrived in Prague.
The three were killed by an attacker on foot in Parwan Province on August 5, the deadliest attack on NATO soldiers in several months.
With reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and Reuters