NATO troops in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province had a brief overnight gunbattle with Afghan Army forces, with both sides apparently assuming the other was Taliban. The troops called in an air strike against a newly established Afghan Army base, killing four soldiers and wounding six others.
The Afghan Defense Ministry condemned the attack, and demanded that NATO turn over those responsible. NATO spokesmen called the incident “regrettable,” but insisted that “we work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations” with the Afghan military.
An angry village elder near the outpost was quoted as saying “as you can see, they dropped bombs on the outpost. It was the Americans, of course.” NATO has yet to confirm the nationality of those involved in the incident.
It is the most high profile “friendly fire” incident since early November, when NATO inexplicably launched an air strike against a warehouse on a jointly owned military base, killing eight Afghan soldiers and 12 civilian laborers.