US Airstrike Kills Afghan Soldier, Wounds 29 Others in Helmand

Afghan officials had initially blamed the incident on 'missile fire'

Reports of Afghan military casualties in Helmand Province were initially shrugged off as the result of a missile fired by unknown insurgents. Later, however, officials admitted that the casualties were the result of a US airstrike.

The airstrike, in the Nad Ali District, killed one soldier and wounded 29 other members of Afghan security forces. Provincial officials have promised an investigation, and confirmed it was a US strike.

Conspicuously absent in all of this is any comment from the US or NATO, neither of whom has confirmed, denied, or even noted the incident. This is unusual, as in recent years, the US has tried to get out in front of reports of airstrikes killing the wrong people.

Afghan officials say their own fighters were in the area trying to clear the Taliban out of Nad Ali. The district has been long-contested, as has much of the Helmand Province, where the Taliban controls a great deal of territory.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of