Six Afghan Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire Airstrike in Helmand

Conflicting reports on whether strike was US or Afghan plane

Conflicting reports have emerged on a Monday incident in which an airstrike in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan hit Afghan security forces. Afghan officials claimed Monday it was a US attack, but US officials are apparently claiming it was an Afghan warplane.

Initial reports said only one soldier was killed, but by Tuesday, the reports said six Afghan soldiers were killed. They also said the airstrike was not against a patrol, as previously hinted, but hit an Afghan military base in Nad Ali District.

This makes more sense as to why initial local reports speculated a militant group fired a missile, since it would’ve hit a stationary base, not a patrol. It would be curious for either US or Afghan planes not to know where the base was, however.

As with most of the Helmand Province, Nad Ali District is heavily contested between government and Taliban forces. The Taliban has a substantial presence across Helmand, a province that is important for its opium poppy trade.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.