5 US troops killed Afghanistan

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Five Amer­i­can spe­cial op­er­a­tions troops were killed by a U.S. airstrike called in to help them af­ter they were am­bushed by the Tal­iban in south­ern Afghanistan, in one of the dead­li­est friendly fire in­ci­dents in nearly 14 years of war, of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

The deaths were a fresh re­minder that the con­flict is nowhere near over for some U.S. troops, who will keep fight­ing for at least two more years.

Pen­tagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the five Amer­i­can troops were killed Mon­day “dur­ing a se­cu­rity oper­a­tion in south­ern Afghanistan.”

“In­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing into the like­li­hood that friendly fire was the cause. Our thoughts and prayers are with the fam­i­lies of these fallen,” Kirby said in a state­ment.

In Wash­ing­ton, two U.S. de­fense of­fi­cials said the five Amer­i­cans were spe­cial op­er­a­tions force mem­bers, but they were not more spe­cific. The of­fi­cials spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the fam­i­lies of the five had not yet been com­pleted.

The deaths oc­curred dur­ing a joint oper­a­tion of Afghan and NATO forces in the Arghandab district of south­ern Zabul prov­ince ahead of Satur­day’s pres­i­den­tial runoff elec­tion, said provin­cial po­lice chief Gen. Ghu­lam Sakhi Roogh­lawanay. Af­ter the oper­a­tion was over, the troops came un­der at­tack from the Tal­iban and called in air sup­port, he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately five NATO soldiers and one Afghan army of­fi­cer were killed mis­tak­enly by NATO airstrike,” Roogh­lawanay said.

There was no way to in­de­pen­dently con­firm Roogh­lawanay’s com­ments. The coali­tion would not com­ment and NATO head­quar­ters in Brussels also de­clined to com­ment.

AP Photo/Kjell Gun­nar Beraas, MSF, File

FILE - In this file photo pro­vide byMedecins Sans Fron­tieres (Doc­tors with­out Borders), taken on Fri­day, March 28, 2014, health­care work­ers from the or­ga­ni­za­tion, pre­pare isolation and treat­ment ar­eas for their Ebola, hem­or­rhagic fever op­er­a­tions, in Guecke­dou, Guinea. One preacher ad­vo­cated fast­ing and prayer to spare people from a virus that usu­ally leads to a hor­ri­ble death. Some people pray that the Ebola virus stays con­fined to a ru­ral district. Oth­ers are un­ruf­fled and say the out­break will blow over.

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