US ‘friendly fire’ kills eight po­lice in Afghanistan

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A US air raid has killed eight Afghan po­lice of­fi­cers who were bat­tling the Tal­iban, of­fi­cials said, the first ap­par­ent “friendly fire” in­ci­dent since Amer­i­can forces were given greater pow­ers to strike at in­sur­gents.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened on Septem­ber 18 in the Tali area of the south­ern prov­ince of Uruz­gan, where the Tal­iban re­cently at­tempted to over­run the provin­cial cap­i­tal Tarin Kot in a ma­jor se­cu­rity breach.

“The first air strike killed one po­lice­man. When other po­lice­men came to help, they came un­der a sec­ond air strike, killing seven of them,” Rahimul­lah Khan, high­way po­lice com­man­der in the south­ern prov­ince, told AFP.

“It could not be un­in­ten­tional,” Khan added.

Mo­ham­mad Sediq, a po­lice of­fi­cer who sur­vived the at­tack, said their forces were “en­gaged in close fight­ing” with the Tal­iban when they were bombed.

The NATO com­mand cen­tre in Kabul con­firmed US war­planes had con­ducted an air strike in the area, but said they tar­get­ted in­di­vid­u­als pos­ing a threat to Afghan forces.

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