U.S. airstrikes destroy Afghan army base
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.