Four Afghan soldiers killed in clash with US troops

Other News Materials 30 January 2010 12:24 (UTC +04:00)

Four Afghan army soldiers were killed in a clash with US Special Forces in central Afghanistan, while two US soldiers and one civilian were killed in eastern region, officials said Saturday, DPA reported.

The "friendly fire" incident occurred when the Afghan army troops clashed with US soldiers returning from a nighttime operation in the central province of Wardak early Saturday, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

"Four Afghan national army soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded," Shahidullah Shahid said. He did not say if there were casualties among the US forces.

A NATO plane also fired on the Afghan army post, which was recently erected near a highway in Wardak's Sayed Abad district, he said.

"The deputy provincial governor is leading an investigation in the area right right now, but what I can say at the moment is that maybe there was some misunderstanding between the two sides because the army post was very new in the area," the spokesman said.

A NATO military spokesman in Kabul said that they were looking into the incident.

Elsewhere, two US soldiers and one civilian were killed in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday in an incident still under investigation.

"Two US service members and one US employee were killed today in eastern Afghanistan," NATO said in a statement.

Afghanistan's eastern region, which shares a long border with neighbouring Pakistan, is the main hub for the Haqqani network, an associate group of Taliban militants.

The latest deaths took to 29 the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan in January.

The monthly total of international troops killed reached 44, compared with 25 in January 2009, according to icasualties.org, an independent website that tracks military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A total of 520 international troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, the deadliest since the conflict began in 2001.