Date
18 January 2017
A US military spokesman said there had been no strikes on Helmand province on Sunday, when the incident was said to have taken place. Photo: Internet
A US military spokesman said there had been no strikes on Helmand province on Sunday, when the incident was said to have taken place. Photo: Internet

US airstrike kills at least 11 Afghan police

A US airstrike in southern Afghanistan has killed at least 11 Afghan policemen, the country’s Ministry of Interior said.

The friendly-fire incident happened on Sunday afternoon, hitting a 30-member elite counter-narcotics police unit out on a mission, the Wall Street Journal quoted Najib Danish, a spokesman for the ministry, as saying.

A number of the officers were injured.

“The strike was the result of a lack of proper coordination” between the US and Afghan military, the spokesman said.

Afghan officials said the bombing had taken place in Helmand province, where opium is widely produced and where the Taliban has launched an offensive against the Afghan army, the newspaper said.

But US military officials in the country said there had been no strikes in Helmand on Sunday.

US Army Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, said they had carried out operations in Maiwand, a district of neighboring Kandahar province.

An international military coalition including the US formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of last year.

However, there are still some 17,000 US and allied troops in Afghanistan to train and advise Afghan troops and, in an exclusive American mission, to focus on counter-terrorism, the newspaper said.

A similar incident took place in July, when a US airstrike killed seven Afghan soldiers in the eastern province of Logar, the report said. The US apologized for the incident.

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