Five U.S. troops killed in Afghan friendly-fire incident

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said fighters had been attacking the foreign forces when the helicopters intervened and accidentally killed their own troops.

Five U.S. troops killed in Afghan friendly-fire incident

World Bulletin/News Desk

Five U.S. servicemen were killed in southern Afghanistan in a friendly-fire air strike during a security operation, Afghan police said on Tuesday, days before a run-off round in the country's presidential election.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the casualties occurred on Monday when the unit came into contact with enemy forces. It did not give the nationality of the dead soldiers.

Local police chief Ghulam Sakhi Roghlewanai said of the incident in Zabul province's Arghandab district: "The five killed were American soldiers who just returned from an operation when they were hit.

"ISAF troops were returning to their bases after an operation when they were ambushed by the insurgents. The air strike mistakenly hit their own forces and killed the soldiers."

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said fighters had been attacking the foreign forces when the helicopters intervened and accidentally killed their own troops.

An ISAF statement said an investigation was under way into "the possibility that fratricide may have been involved".

Taliban, meanhwhile, kidnapped 35 professors from Kandahar University after stopping their van on the highway linking the southern province and Kabul, a spokesman for provincial governor said.

"The professors were on their way to the capital when they were abducted and tribal elders are now involved in negotiating with the Taliban," Dawa Khan Minapal said by telephone.

Security is being ramped up in Afghanistan ahead of Saturday's run-off vote to replace President Hamid Karzai.

The poll pits Abdullah Abdullah, a former leader of the opposition to the Taliban, against former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.

Last Mod: 10 Haziran 2014, 16:18
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