U.S. airstrikes de­stroy Afghan army base

The Buffalo News - - WORLD NEWS - – New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan – For the sec­ond time in a few days, an Afghan army base was de­stroyed Wed­nes­day – but this time by U.S. airstrikes that fol­lowed a fire­fight be­tween the Afghans and Amer­i­cans, Afghan of­fi­cials said.

A lo­cal Afghan of­fi­cial said six sol­diers were killed and nine oth­ers badly wounded, out of 17 sol­diers at the base. Qais Man­gal, a spokesman for the Afghan De­fense Min­istry, con­firmed that the airstrikes had taken place after an­other Afghan unit at­tacked a joint con­voy of Afghan Spe­cial Forces and U.S. troops. He put the death toll at five sol­diers, with 10 wounded.

A U.S. mil­i­tary spokes­woman said the Afghan army post, which she de­scribed as a “check­point,” had opened fire on the con­voy first.

“This is an ex­am­ple of the fog of war,” Sgt. 1st Class De­bra Richard­son said. “The U.S. con­ducted a pre­ci­sion self-de­fense airstrike on peo­ple who were fir­ing at a part­nered U.S.-Afghan force.” There were no re­ports of U.S. ca­su­al­ties.

The in­sur­gents of­ten steal Afghan and U.S. mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles and uni­forms to launch their at­tacks.

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