A NATO airstrike has killed five Afghan soldiers in the country’s eastern Logar province. The military coalition confirmed to media it had “accidentally” killed the Afghan National Army personnel.
“At 3:30 a.m. this morning, due to a NATO airstrike in Charkh district, Logar province, five service members of the Afghan national army were martyred and eight others were wounded,” defense ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi wrote on his Twitter account Thursday.
NATO spokeswoman Major Cathleen Snow confirmed the deaths to the AFP and Associated Press news agencies.
“We can confirm that at least five Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel were accidentally killed this morning during an operation in eastern Afghanistan,” she said in a statement. “An investigation is being conducted at this time to determine the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident. Our condolences go out to the families of the ANA soldiers who lost their lives and were wounded.”
Khalilullah Kamal, the Charkh district governor, told AFP he had visited the site of the attack.
“The post is totally destroyed,” he said. “The Americans used to be in that post but since they left, the ANA took over. The post is on a hilltop. The attack was conducted by drones.”
Thursday’s strike is likely to increase tension between NATO officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been a vocal critic of the US-led attacks that have killed scores of civilians and troops. The US is currently negotiating a security deal with Afghanistan outlining the country’s presence in the country after the international troop pullout to be completed at the end of this year, with immunity for American soldiers a major sticking point.
dr/hc (AFP, AP, Reuters)