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Afghanistan: NATO Strike Kills 7 Afghan Security Members


Afghanistan says a NATO air strike has mistakenly killed seven Afghan security force members in the western part of the country.

The Afghan Defense Ministry says four Afghan soldiers and three policemen were killed in the air strike Friday in Badghis province, and that security personnel were wounded.

Earlier, international and Afghan authorities said they were investigating an incident in which more than 25 international and Afghan forces were killed or wounded in the area Friday.

A NATO statement said investigators are looking into whether close air support (friendly fire) caused some of the casualties. A spokeswoman (U.S. Navy Captain Jane Campbell) said officials are "saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained during the mission."

An Afghan spokesman (Zamary Bashary) told VOA it is clear the incident Friday was a mistake, but that such attacks will never deter Afghanistan's partnership with international forces.

NATO said the incident took place while international and Afghan forces were searching for two missing U.S. soldiers who went missing Wednesday in western Afghanistan.

The deputy police chief in Badghis province (Abdul Jabar) says the two soldiers drowned Wednesday while trying to save supply boxes that fell into the water after being air-dropped.

This year has been the deadliest for international troops in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban-led government in 2001.

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