Five soldiers were killed and 17 people in total were injured in an air strike led by NATO in Afghanistan's eastern province of Logar on Thursday. Among the wounded were eight members of the Afghan National Army and the soldiers' deaths were confirmed by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, which called it an accident.
“We can confirm that at least five Afghan National Army personnel were accidentally killed this morning during an operation in eastern Afghanistan. An investigation is being conducted at this time to determine the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident,” ISAF said in a statement Thursday. Reuters, citing a spokesperson for Karzai, reported that Afghanistan would conduct an investigation into the attack.
"Right now a discussion in the province is going on between Afghan officials and foreign forces to find out the reason for this attack," Aimal Faizi reportedly said, according to Reuters.
Attacks on friendly targets have led to a rift between Afghanistan and U.S., which is leading NATO forces on the ground, leading to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign a bilateral agreement that would allow NATO troops to remain in the country after 2014. Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama had warned Karzai that the U.S. would pull out all its troops from Afghanistan if the new security deal is not signed. However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed hope that the deal will be signed after Afghanistan elects a new president in April's elections.
IASF, in its statement, said: "Our condolences go out to the families of the ANA soldiers who lost their lives and were wounded. We value the strong relationship with our Afghan partners, and we will determine what actions will be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again.”