Publish dateSunday 19 May 2019 - 01:23
Story Code : 185312
Afghan gov
The Afghan National Security Council said Saturday that it has assigned a fact-finding team to investigate into a deadly airstrike launched by NATO-led coalition forces, in the country's restive south that killed 17 police officers.
AVA- On Thursday night, at least 17 Afghan National Police personnel were reportedly killed and 14 others wounded following the sortie in Nahri Sarraj district of the southern province of Helmand.
"Immediately, the Office of National Security Council commissioned a fact-finding team to thoroughly investigate the incident and take necessary measures in order to prevent such incidents in the future," the office of Afghanistan National Security Council said in a statement.
The ill-fated police unit was part of reinforcement team leading to an area where Taliban militants stormed security checkpoints along the main road. Highway police commander Hajji Gran Habib who led the team was among the killed, according to local officials.
The coalition forces have also reportedly regretted over what it called "a tragic incident," saying it was examining the miscommunication to ensure that it is not repeated in the future.
"An Afghan unit on the ground had told coalition forces that the area was clear of friendly forces. We regret this tragic loss of life of our partners and are committed to improving every day with every mission," the coalition said in a statement.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense also confirmed that a U.S. aircraft have conducted attacks during the Thursday's counter-insurgents fight and the country's Ministry of Interior Affairs estimated that eight security personnel including their local commander, had died and 11 others injured during the bombing in the province, 555 km south of Kabul.
The office of the National Security Council said in the statement that further details will be shared once the investigation is completed.
Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also known as a Taliban stronghold.
Some similar incidents took place in the past. On Feb. 26, eight pro-government local militiamen were killed and four others wounded following an airstrike in the eastern province of Ghazni.
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.
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