REPORT: Multiple officers accidentally killed from U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan


KABUL — U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan killed as many as 18 Afghan police officers late Thursday during heavy ground fighting with Taliban forces near the capital of Helmand province, Afghan officials and provincial leaders said Friday.

U.S. military officials here said the airstrikes, in what they described as a “tragic accident,” killed members of the Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters, but they did not say how many from each side died.

The article goes on to state the following:

A spokesman for the U.S. military advisory mission here, Lt. Col. Dave Butler, said in a statement that Afghan security officials requested “precision air support” during heavy fighting and that U.S. military personnel had worked with Afghan coordinators. The coordinators “confirmed that the areas were clear of friendly forces,” he said. “Unfortunately, they were not, and a tragic accident resulted.”

U.S. officials are “examining the miscommunication to ensure it is not repeated,” Butler said. “We regret this tragic loss of life of our partners.”

Afghan officials in Kabul and Helmand gave conflicting information on the number of casualties, saying that between eight and 18 Afghan personnel were killed and that 14 others were wounded. They said the incident, which took place during a ground battle on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, was under investigation.

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