Air strike kill eight police in southern Afghanistan, says official

Reuters , Friday 17 May 2019

An air strike killed at least eight policeman in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, a government official said on Friday, the latest casualties from a rise in air and ground operations against the Afghan Taliban.

It was not immediately clear if Afghan or U.S. forces carried out the air strike on Thursday night near the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor.

He said two senior officers were among the eight policemen killed. Another 11 policemen were wounded in a firefight with Taliban insurgents during the same security operation.

Officials with NATO-led Resolute Support forces based in the Afghan capital Kabul were not immediately available for comment.

American forces regularly provide support to Afghan troops in operations against the Taliban.

Helmand Governor Mohammad Yasin and government officials in Kabul said the air strike was being investigated. They did not give details of the incident.

Fighting has accelerated during a period of recurring peace talks to end more than 17 years of war.

The Taliban has so far rejected ceasefire proposals, saying U.S. and NATO troops must first withdraw from Afghanistan.

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