By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - At least eight Afghan policemen were killed following an air raid by the U.S. forces by mistake, an official confirmed here on Friday.
The incident took place in the restive southern Helmand province’s Neher-e-Siraj district late on Thursday.
Giving details, Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi, said a police check post in the district had come under attack by the Taliban. The attack was responded by the Afghan forces on the ground and the NATO-led Resolute Support forces from the air. While scores of insurgents were killed, the NATO strike also killed eight policemen by mistake.
Since the NATO had marked the formal end of the combat mission in 2014, currently only the U.S. forces are engaged in offensive operations, against the insurgents and provide aerial support to the Afghan forces.
Rahimi added investigation into the incident has begun.
Meanwhile, the local Tolo News claimed that at least 17 policemen were killed in the incident.
In a social media post, the Taliban claimed that the U.S. airstrike killed 35 Afghan policemen including four senior officers.
Helmand province remains one of the most challenging provinces in Afghanistan, with the militants controlling large swaths of land. Recently the Afghan forces backed by the U.S. air power reclaimed a large territory from insurgents. But that has resulted in frequent clashes in various pockets of the province, claiming lives from both sides.