5 Afghan soldiers killed in US air strikes


KABUL: At least five Afghan soldiers were killed and 10 injured in air strikes conducted by US forces in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan on Wednesday, Afghan officials said, in an apparent case of friendly fire.

The Defence Ministry said in a statement giving the casualty numbers the Afghan soldiers had been patrolling a checkpoint.

“This attack was caused due to lack of proper coordination,” a ministry official told Reuters.

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Kabul said the United States conducted precision self-defense air strikes on people firing on Afghan and American forces who were conducting a ground movement near an Afghan army checkpoint.

It did not confirm or deny the air strikes caused casualties.

“The strikes were conducted after Afghan and US forces came under effective small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire and (they) requested air support in self-defense,” said Debra Richardson, a mission spokeswoman.