FRIENDLY FIRE

U.S. Airstrike Kills 16 Afghan Policemen

An American airstrike killed 16 Afghan policemen late Friday in a friendly-fire incident as U.S. forces assist in the country’s fight against the Taliban. The strike happened in the Gereshk district of Helmand Province, where U.S. forces have carried out dozens of airstrikes in recent days to help Afghan forces push back Taliban fighters. NATO’s mission in Afghanistan confirmed the “unfortunate incident” and said an investigation would be opened into the circumstances behind it. Ahmad Shakir, the chairman of the security committee of the Helmand provincial council, said the strike hit a police post that had temporarily been taken over by Taliban forces. “It is not yet clear how the post was hit, maybe because of wrong coordinates as the post was abandoned yesterday and retaken today,” Shakir was cited as saying by The New York Times.