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Afghanistan : Seventeen police feared killed in friendly fire

Afghanistan : Seventeen police feared killed in friendly fire

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 May 2019, 11:13 am

Lashkar Gah, May 17 (Xinhua/UNI) At least 17 police personnel were killed and 14 others wounded following an airstrike in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand overnight, in a latest incident of friendly fire, a local source said Friday.

"A large number of Taliban armed with guns and rockets attacked a security checkpoint in Tanki locality, Nahri Sarraj district, outside provincial capital Lashkar Gah Thursday night," the source told Xinhua anonymously.

"The highway police commander Hajji Gran Habib leading a police unit rushed to the site for reinforcement and fighting the attackers. But the ill-fated police unit was struck by an airstrike near the area, leaving the casualties," the source said, adding police chief Habib was among those killed.

He said the sortie was conducted by US and NATO-led coalition forces.
Further details about the incident are still forthcoming amid the absence of any official statement.

In a previous friendly fire incident, eight pro-government local militiamen were killed and four others wounded following an airstrike in eastern Ghazni province on Feb. 26.

Helmand province, notorious for poppy growing, is a known Taliban stronghold.The Afghan security forces' casualties have risen recently as they struggle against a surge in attacks by Taliban militant group and other anti-government fighters.  

Image: UN website