KABUL, Afghanistan Five American service members were killed in southern Afghanistan when a B-1B bomber was called in by a SOF unit that had come under intense Taliban attack.
The five were killed along with an Afghan soldier in Zabul province, said the province’s Police Chief Ghulam Sakhi Roghliwanai.“But the airstrike mistakenly bombed their own friends too,” he said.The alliance did not offer additional details.
According to sources, the troops were conducting a security sweep. Such operations have been stepped up ahead of the Afghanistan’s presidential runoff election, which will take place on Saturday.
The patrol came under heavy fire from enemy forces and an airstrike was called in. "That’s when the casualties occurred, a NATO statement said — but then it added this line: Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved.”
Roghliwanai said the troops had completed their joint military sweep when they came under rocket fire from Taliban militants.
A U.S. defense department spokesman said early Tuesday morning he didn’t have a comment about the incident.