• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 51s

Friendly fire leaves 5 U.S. troops dead in southern Afghanistan

By CBS/AP 10:26 AM June 10, 2014

Last Updated Jun 10, 2014 10:15 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan – Five American troops and one of their Afghan counterparts were killed in an apparent coalition airstrike in southern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday, in one of the worst friendly fire incidents involving United States and coalition troops since the start of the nearly 14 year war. An U.S. official confirmed to CBS News the aircraft involved in the incident was American.

A statement from the international alliance said all five soldiers died on Monday after they and their Afghan counterparts came under attack and requested air support.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said a battle took place on Monday night between foreign troops and Taliban fighters in Arghandab district in southern Zabul province.

The Afghan police chief in southern Zabul province said there was a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. troops in the province earlier Monday. After that operation was over, the troops came under an attack by the Taliban in Arghandab district and called in air support, said Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rooghlawanay.

He told CBS News that the requested aircraft mistakenly bombed the U.S. and Afghan forces on the ground, resulting in the deaths.

The only U.S. troops now involved in combat operations are usually Special Operations Forces that mentor their Afghan counterparts. They often come under fire and are responsible for calling in air support when needed. Because of constraints placed by outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, such air strikes are usually called “in extremis,” or when troops fear they are about to be killed.

One of the worst such friendly-fire incidents came in April 2002 when four Canadian soldiers were killed by an American F-16 jet fighter which dropped a bomb on a group of troops during night firing exercise in southern Kandahar.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The insurgents have intensified attacks on Afghan and foreign forces ahead of the country’s presidential electionrunoff on Saturday. Officials are concerned there could be more violence around the balloting, though the first round in April passed relatively peacefully.

Along with the five NATO troops, an Afghan soldier also died in the fighting, said Rooghlawanay.

Separately, a NATO statement said a service member had died on Monday as a result of a non-battle injury in eastern Afghanistan.

The deaths bring to 36 the number of NATO soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, with eight service members killed in June.

Casualties have been falling in the U.S.-led military coalition as its forces pull back to allow the Afghan army and police to fight the Taliban insurgency. All combat troops are scheduled to be withdrawn from the country by the end of this year.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Council advances 4 finalists for Anchorage judgeship

    by Associated Press on Oct 13, 13:08

    The Alaska Judicial Council is advancing four finalists for consideration for an upcoming vacancy on the Anchorage Superior Court. The nominees are private practice attorneys Dani Crosby and Kevin Fitzgerald; Josie Garton, an assistant public defender; and Jonathan Woodman, a senior assistant attorney general. Gov. Bill Walker will decide which of the nominees will succeed […]

  • News

    Repsol’s restructuring of North Slope assets could mean layoffs in Alaska

    by Sierra Starks on Oct 13, 13:07

    Repsol’s decision to restructure North Slope assets could mean layoffs for dozens of employees and contractors in Alaska. Following the Spanish energy company’s acquisition of Talisman Energy in May, Repsol made the decision to focus more of its capital investments into producing assets and less on exploration growth, according to an email from Jan Sieving, Repsol’s North America […]

  • DayBreak

    The return of Thursday Night at the Fights

    by Daybreak Staff on Oct 13, 12:43

    Bringing boxing entertainment to Anchorage for more than two decades. On Thursday the action returns to the ring at the Egan Center. Jim Patton with Jim Patton Promotions joined Daybreak to talk about what’s in store this season for Thursday Night at the Fights. “We have had a couple of world champions come out of the […]

  • DayBreak

    Talking the AFN Convention with Visit Anchorage

    by Daybreak Staff on Oct 13, 12:06

    Thousands of people are in Anchorage this week for one of Alaska’s largest conferences. The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention kicks off in a few days, and is host to culture, art, performances and workshops. Julie Saupe, the CEO of Visit Anchorage, joined Daybreak Tuesday morning to talk about what the convention has to offer. […]

  • News

    Shell drill vessels leave Arctic after oil exploration ends

    by Associated Press on Oct 13, 10:25

    Vessels used by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill for oil off Alaska have safely departed Arctic waters. Shell announced Sept. 28 it would cease further exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas after spending upward of $7 billion on Arctic offshore exploration. The company cited disappointing results from an exploratory well drilled in the […]

  • News

    Oregon company sells southeast Alaska commuter operations

    by Associated Press on Oct 13, 9:16

    An Oregon-based commuter airline has sold its Alaska operations to a Gustavus company. The Juneau Empire reports (http://is.gd/zd7Jbe) that the sale of Wings of Alaska to Fjord Flying Services by SeaPort Airlines of Portland takes effect Saturday. SeaPort president Robert McKinney says in a statement that air service to rural Alaska communities has many unique […]

  • News

    $20M asphalt plant under construction in North Pole

    by Associated Press on Oct 13, 8:49

    A new $20 million asphalt plant will be built in North Pole. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/AvLUeb) Petro Star Inc. announced the plant at its North Pole Refinery. The plant will be built this winter, and asphalt production is expected to begin in the spring. Among the customers for the asphalt will be the […]

  • News

    APD: Parent with gun apprehended outside West High

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 13, 8:32

    Updated on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 12:10 p.m. ANCHORAGE – An armed parent was apprehended outside West High School Tuesday morning with no injuries reported, authorities say. Shortly before 8 a.m., a man and woman entered the high school. The man then demanded to see his children — students at the school, said Anchorage Police […]