NATO Airstrike Accidentally Kills 7 Afghan Soldiers
Strike hit 2 military checkpoints; officials cite 'bad coordination'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 20, 2015 5:31 AM CDT
In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015 photo, Afghan security police stand guard at checkpoint in Helmand province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Abdul Khaliq)

(Newser) – A NATO airstrike hit two Afghan military checkpoints today in a restive province about 30 miles east of the capital, Kabul, killing at least seven Afghan troops in what an Afghan official describes as an accident. Five troops were also wounded in the early morning strike in Logar province's district of Baraki Barak, according to an Afghan provincial army commander, though other officials gave slightly different numbers. The incident happened as coalition helicopters were flying over an area in Logar province where clashes were underway between Afghan troops and Taliban fighters, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said. Insurgents fired toward the helicopters, prompting a response that destroyed one army checkpoint, the ministry statement said, adding that the incident was under investigation.

The district governor says the NATO airstrike was "likely a mistake, due to bad coordination" in an area where Taliban insurgents are highly active. A US military rep says the coalition is aware of an incident in Logar, now under investigation. Security in Logar has deteriorated in recent months as the Taliban stepped up their attacks on Afghan soldiers and security forces, trying to spread their footprint across the country and take control of some remote regions.