US Accidentally Kills 6 Afghan Cops

Calls it a 'tragic case of mistaken identity'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2008 7:14 AM CST
Map locates Qalat, Afghanistan, where U.S. Special Forces killed at least six Afghan police.
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(Newser) – US troops killed six Afghan policemen and one civilian today, in what a senior military spokesman called a “tragic case of mistaken identity,” the New York Times reports. The forces had just finished overrunning a Taliban hideout, killing a suspected Taliban commander and detaining another man, when the policemen fired on them, according to a joint statement from the American and Afghan militaries.

The Americans returned fire with small arms and aircraft, according to the statement. Only afterward did they realize they were shooting at police. But the deputy police chief says the officers were inside a police station, which was destroyed in the airstrike, and that the shots came from another nearby building.