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US Airstrike Hits Afghan Security Forces, Not Taliban, Kills Friendly Troops

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US Airstrike Hits Afghan Security Forces, Not Taliban, Kills Friendly Troops

A US airstrike meant to hit Taliban forces in the Azra district of Afghanistan’s Logar province instead led to the deaths of at least nine Afghan security forces, local officials said Tuesday.

The aerial bombardment also wounded some 14 officers, according to AFP, who reported that the strike came after Afghan officials were engaged in an “hours-long battle with insurgents overnight.”

Per Nasrat Rahimi, spokesperson for the Afghan Interior Ministry, the incident took status after Afghan forces called on US officials for back up. However, communication was somehow mixed up, and US forces targeted the mistaken location. “[Afghan officials] called in air support, but unfortunately foreign forces mistakenly bombed their position,” Rahimi said.

US officials bear confirmed that an airstrike took status, but bear yet to say whether the operation amounted to killing friendly forces, Stars and Stripes reported.

“At this time, I can confirm that US Forces-Afghanistan did conduct a strike in support of Afghan operations and in defense of Afghan forces in Azra district, Logar province, early this morning,” Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell, the spokesperson for the US military in Afghanistan, told the publication.

He later told AFP that an investigation has been launched into the incident. “We are looking into the matter further,” he said.

Although officials are still trying to determine the exact number of casualties, Abdul Wal Wakeel, a provincial council member from Azra, told Stars and Stripes that the strike killed 12 Afghan security forces members. The official added that prior to the strike, another eight officers and two civilians were killed in clashes with the Taliban.

“Foreign forces should not repeat the mistake they made early this morning,” Wakeel told the publication. “If they continue to be careless, it could create a much bigger problem.”

Since ending their combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, US forces bear remained in an advisory capacity to succor train Afghan troops and provide assistance in counter-terrorism missions. This latest investigation follows another the US military is conducting into an airstrike that killed up to 14 civilians in Kunduz last month.

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At Least 3 NATO Soldiers Injured in Blast in East Afghanistan

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Trump Appoints Austin Miller to Command US Forces-Afghanistan

At least three NATO servicemen were injured in an explosion in Afghanistan’s eastern Parwan province, local media reported Wednesday, citing the Resolute Support Mission.

The blast was caused by an improvised explosive device that went off in the Bagram district, injuring the NATO patrol, according to the Pajhwok news agency.

In addition, Parwan police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Mehfooz Walizada told Pajhwok that a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy near the US military base in Bagram. He added that a NATO tank was destroyed, the attacker was killed, while NATO soldiers remained unharmed.

The Taliban reportedly claimed that the attacker caused casualties among NATO troops.

The NATO’s mission in Afghanistan was launched in 2015. It includes over 13,000 servicemen who are providing training and advice to the Afghan security personnel in their fight against terrorism, particularly against the Taliban radical group.

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‘US Agrees to Discuss Troop Pullout’: Claim Afghan Taliban Officials

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'US Agrees to Discuss Troop Pullout': Claim Afghan Taliban Officials

Reports coming after a Friday meeting in Doha, Qatar, between US diplomats and top Afghan Taliban officials suggest that Washington has agreed to discuss bringing its troops home and finish America’s 17-year war in Afghanistan.

During Friday’s preliminary talks, US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad discussed with the Taliban conditions to bring about the finish of the US’s 17-year war in Afghanistan, according to two ranking Taliban officials speaking on condition of anonymity, as reported by Al Jazeera.

“Six US delegates arrived in Doha to bear a meeting with our [Taliban] leaders [and] agreed to discuss all issues, including the pullout of foreign troops,” an unnamed Afghan Taliban official stated.

“But it was a preliminary meeting and all issues were discussed in general, not in detail,” the anonymous Taliban official asserted, adding that additional talks are expected in upcoming months, cited by Al Jazeera.

Taliban demands for a peaceful resolution of nearly two decades of clash in Afghanistan at the hands of the US include the total pullout of all American military personnel, including contract mercenaries, as well as the lifting of sanctions against its leaders, freedom for imprisoned Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and the creation and recognition of its official political party.

Following Friday’s exploratory talks, Khalilzad and other US officials refused to comment on progress between the two belligerents, according to Al Jazeera.

US officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells, previously met with Taliban officials in Qatar in July.

Appointed in September as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Khalilzad has in recent months met with representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to forge a path to peace.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the mission lasting until December 28, 2014. In 2015, NATO initiated a original mission, Resolute Support, aimed at training Afghan security forces. Nevertheless, seemingly endless US operations bear shown limited effectiveness at establishing an enduring peace in Afghanistan.

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