In Kabul, Afghanistan, there were at least five troops from the Afghan army that were killed by friendly fire in what was really supposed to be a precision airstrike by U.S. forces, that were supporting troops fighting insurgents in the south of the country, as reported by the Minister of Defense on Wednesday.
The minister stated, without really delving into details, that the incident occurred Tuesday night during a night operation near Tarin Kot in Uruzgan. The mishap occurred due to a miscommunication between the ground forces of the Afghan troops and the air forces of the U.S.
An investigation has been launched into the incident. The ministry gave a statement that it was so dark and a misunderstanding occurred which resulted in five of the Afghan army soldiers being killed and a further ten wounded.
Responding to an incoming fire from the Afghan troops, the U.S. military attempted to support the troops by means of a precision air strike. “The strikes were conducted after Afghan and U.S. forces came under effective small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire and requested air support in self-defense,” as explained by the spokesperson for the Resolute Support, Bob Purtiman. He went on to state “we are operating in a complex environment where enemy fighters do not wear uniforms and use stolen military vehicles to attack government forces.”
Deputy Head of the Uruzgan provincial council, Mohammad Karim Karimi, said that the U.S. airstrike inadvertently hit an Afghan base, resulting in the death of five soldiers and the wounding of another ten.