• 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

  • Halfway house walkaways decrease significantly but remain a problem

    by Daniella Rivera on May 25, 21:56

    Before Howard Watson, 32, got into a confrontation with Anchorage Police that sent him to the hospital with critical injuries Thursday, he was was already a wanted man. In a Nixle alert sent out Monday, APD said he left the Glenwood Center halfway house with permission to go to work. He showed up at his […]

  • News

    Memorial Day weekend events in Southcentral Alaska

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 25, 20:18

    Memorial Day Weekend – May 26, 2017 – May 29, 2017 4th Avenue Theatre’s 70th Anniversary Saturday, May 27 Street Fair on 4th Avenue between F and G Streets 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Entertainers on the 4th Avenue stage Anchorage Jazz Ensemble, The Blue Notes, Reading of 4th Avenue Theatre memories 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. […]

  • News

    Mothers of four young men killed by gun violence make plea in viral video

    by Shannon Ballard on May 25, 19:50

    The faces of four Alaska mothers are spreading rapidly across social media The women all have different stories to share, but they’ve come together because of what they have in common: each has recently lost a son to gun violence. Aleaka Tate’s says a video posted to her Facebook page was created to encourage a […]

  • News

    RVs a growing business for Alaska, big bucks for Anchorage

    by Dave Leval on May 25, 19:37

    The Norbert Family of Eagle River will get out of town for the Memorial Day, and for the first time, they will do so in style. “We have always wanted to rent an RV, and my son’s birthday is this weekend, so, we were excited to go out and explore Alaska,” said Lisa Norbert. The […]

  • News

    Delta offers seasonal flights to Capitol city; Juneauites hope to keep competition

    by Liz Raines on May 25, 19:29

    It’s been one week since Delta Airlines started offering daily flights between Juneau and Seattle– breaking the Alaska Airlines monopoly– at least for the summer. Over the years, the capital city’s small population and harsh weather conditions have made it hard for companies to compete in Juneau’s skies. For year-round service between big cities and […]

  • Shots fired, suspect dead in Fairbanks pursuit

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 25, 17:15

    A man died Thursday afternoon after leading law enforcement on a pursuit that ended in shots fired in Fairbanks. Around 3:15, Alaska State Troopers in Fairbanks saw a known individual who has warrants and attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Old Richardson Highway but the suspect did not pull over, according to troopers. Fairbanks Police […]

  • Oregon, California governors seek salmon disaster aid

    by Associated Press on May 25, 15:37

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown are seeking a federal disaster declaration to help salmon fishermen enduring a second bad year in a row. A record-low number of fall-run Chinook salmon returning to the Klamath River has led to fisheries restrictions, including the cancellation of the season along […]

  • News

    NTSB investigating helicopter accident on Herbert Glacier

    by Associated Press on May 25, 15:32

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a helicopter crash on a southeast Alaska glacier that resulted in minor injuries. Clint Johnson, NTSB’s regional aviation chief in Anchorage, says investigators are working with Coastal Helicopters to determine what happened. Coastal Helicopters, which offers a Juneau Icefield excursion, has said its helicopter […]