NATO Airstrike Kills 8 Afghan Troops, Afghan Officials Say
KABUL, Afghanistan — A NATO airstrike hit two Afghan military checkpoints on Monday in a restive province east of the capital, Kabul, killing at least eight Afghan troops in what an Afghan official describes as an accident due to bad coordination.
The early morning strike took place in Logar province’s district of Baraki Barak, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Kabul, according to Afghan provincial army commander Abdul Razaq. Five troops were also wounded in the strike, Razaq added.
Logar police chief Mohammad Douod Ahmadi confirmed the casualty figures, though other Afghan officials gave slightly different numbers.
District governor Mohammad Rahim Amin said the NATO airstrike was “likely a mistake, due to bad coordination” in an area where Taliban insurgents are highly active.
A U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, said the coalition is aware of an incident in Logar.
“This incident is under investigation,” Tribus said.
Security in Logar has deteriorated in recent months as the Taliban stepped up their attacks on Afghan soldiers and security forces, trying to spread their footprint across the country and take control of some remote regions.
The U.S. and NATO forces concluded their combat mission at the end of last year and Afghan troops since have taken control of the country’s security, which has caused Afghan casualties to spike.