Afghan police killed in U.S. friendly-fire air strike

US friendly fire kills at least eight Afghan policemen in Helmand

Afghan security forces killed by american bombing

A US airstrike confirmed by the Pentagon killed 12 Afghan National Police officers and wounded two others, Helmand provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Safi said Saturday.

The airstrike took place in the Gereshk district of Helmand province, where US and Afghan forces have been locked in fierce fighting with the Taliban.

"We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families affected by this unfortunate incident", the statement added, noting that there would be a probe into what went wrong.

The insurgents control much of the province and threaten Lashkar Gah but government forces, backed by U.S. air strikes, have launched an operation to drive them back from around the provincial capital.

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Lying south to the Taliban's birthplace Kandahar, Helmand remains one of the most insecure provinces in Afghanistan with the militants controlling large swaths of land.

Bigzad said another 20 members of a local police force were missing following Friday's firefight. "An investigation will be conducted to determine the specific circumstances that led to this incident", it read.

Last November 32 Afghan civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike in the northeastern province of Kunduz. Although a USA statement acknowledging the strike did not specify the number of casualties, a Pentagon spokesman later put the figure at from 12-15 deaths.

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The governor of Afghanistan's northern Badakshan's province says 11 police have been killed and another six wounded during a roaring battle with Taliban insurgents.

Taliban fighters drove three captured Humvee vehicles into checkpoints during heavy fighting around Gereshk on Thursday.

The assaults by a resurgent Taliban come as the group is said to control more territory now than at any time since 2001, when a USA -led invasion ousted them from power. US President Donald Trump is also considering requests from military commanders for thousands more global troops.

Another U.S. airstrike in October 2015 destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan and left 42 people dead.

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