Report: US Air Strike Kills 24 Afghan Guards

by Jason Ditz, October 26, 2008

Updated 10/26 1:45 PM EST

US forces called in an air strike in Ghazni Province to fend off a Taliban attack on guards for a road construction project. Now, provincial officials say they are investigating reports that the air strike killed 24 guards. A spokesman for the US military said they have no information regarding the incident.

The Taliban has a large presence in Ghazni, to the point that reports have them setting up their own “shadow government,” which many locals are favoring over their coalition supported counterparts. The US-led coalition reported killing dozens of militants in Ghazni, and has said it too is looking into local media reports about the guards’ deaths.

This is the second major report of friend-fire casualties caused in a US air strike in the past few days. On Wednesday morning, a US air strike in Khost Province leveled an Afghan army checkpoint, killing nine soldiers. The coalition attributed those killings to “a case of mistaken identity on both sides.”

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz