In what is shaping up to be the deadliest friendly fire incident yet in the eight year long Afghan War, the Afghan Defense Ministry has confirmed today that a NATO air strike in the Badghis Province killed at least eight people, seven of them security forces, and wounded 20 others.
Reportedly the alliance was in the process of carrying out its massive rescue mission for two missing US soldiers in the province when one of its planes inexplicably attacked a military base housing both coalition and Afghan troops. A NATO spokesman said they were “saddened” to hear the news but insisted the rescue mission was very important.
This may not be the end of the story either, as NATO retracted yesterday’s claim that 25 international troops wounded in the mission had been the victims of “insurgent activity,” saying they could not rule out the possibility the troops were mistakenly wounded during an attack by their own forces.
As far as the missing soldiers go, officials are now saying they jumped into a river to try to rescue supplies which had been mistakenly air-dropped into the river and were floating downstream. The soldiers presumably drowned, and Taliban reported yesterday they had recovered the bodies. NATO has vowed to continue the search.
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