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Afghan ‘friendly fire’ kills five soldiers: Official

An Afghan air force strike killed five soldiers and a police officer in western Afghanistan, an official said on Saturday, the latest in a series of so-called “friendly fire” incidents.

Afghan helicopters “mistakenly” bombed their own forces after calling in air support as they battled the Taliban in the Kensk area of Farah province late Friday, Dawlat Waziri, a defense ministry spokesman, said. “Because of the wrong coordinates, helicopters bombed an Afghan forces’ checkpoint that unfortunately left five soldiers and one police officer dead,” he said. “An investigation into the incident has been launched,” he added. Last month, a US air raid killed eight Afghan policemen in the southern province of Uruzgan.

The US military, however, said its forces were not involved in the air strike in Farah. Civilian and military casualties caused by NATO and Afghan forces have been 

one of the most contentious issues in the 15-year campaign against Taliban insurgents, prompting harsh public and government criticism. 
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