A joint US-Afghan operation in the Nangarhar Province ended especially badly yesterday, according to NATO officials who confirmed that a call for aerial support led the US warplane to attack the Afghan policemen near the scene, killing five.
“Our condolences go out to the families of the policemen who lost their lives,” a NATO spokesman insisted, saying that the kills have been confirmed and that there will be an investigation.
The police who were killed don’t appear to have even been involved in the operation, which was said to involve NATO and Afghan National Security Forces. Rather they were at a police checkpoint nearby, which somehow became the target of the strike.
The timing of the attack is particularly bad, as the US is trying to coax Afghan President Hamid Karzai back to talks on keeping a US military presence inside Afghanistan beyond 2015.