US forces mistakenly killed seven Afghan police and wounded four in an apparent friendly-fire incident early yesterday in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.
Police manning a remote checkpost in Nangarhar Province said a US convoy backed by helicopters approached and opened fire despite their protests and calls for them to stop.
"I thought they were Taliban and we shouted at them to stop, but they came closer and they opened fire," said Khan Mohammad, one of the policemen at the post. "I'm very angry. We are here to protect the Afghan government and help serve the Afghan government, but the Americans have come to kill us."
The commander at the post, Esanullah, who goes by one name, said a helicopter fired rockets, killing seven policemen and wounding four.
A spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said she had no information that US forces under ISAF command were involved.
About 50,000 foreign troops led by the US military and NATO are in Afghanistan, battling a resurgent Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies.
There were conflicting reports over how the fighting started.
Khogyani district chief Zurmai Khan said fighting started just before midnight on Monday between Taliban militants and Afghan police, and US forces arrived and opened fire on the police two hours later.
However, Esanullah and Noragha Zowak, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor, said that no Taliban were involved in the incident.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan worsened in the last year and that civilians are bearing the brunt of attacks.
"Civilians suffer horribly from mounting threats to their security," said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of ICRC operations.
The agency said that since last year the violence had significantly intensified in some areas, bringing a "growing number of civilian casualties."
Three Afghan civilians were killed and two wounded in the eastern province of Kunar on Monday after a car drove through an ISAF checkpoint and soldiers opened fire, ISAF said.
A roadside bomb attack 40km north of Kandahar city on Monday killed a Canadian soldier. The soldier, identified as Trooper Darryl Caswell of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, was the 57th Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, the Canadian military said.
Violence has spiked in Afghanistan in recent weeks. More than 2,300 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an AP count based on US, NATO and Afghan figures.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
AWAITING EXTRADITION: Daniel Duggan has been classified as ‘extreme high risk,’ has not been allowed to use stationery and has been denied treatment, his lawyer said The lawyer for a former US military pilot arrested in Australia and facing possible extradition to the US said that his client was wrongly classified as an “extreme high-risk” prisoner, and he had asked the attorney-general to release him. Former US Marines pilot Daniel Edmund Duggan was arrested in New South Wales in October at the request of the US government, the same week the UK announced a crackdown on its former military pilots working to train Chinese military fliers. The US must lodge an extradition request for Duggan by Dec. 20 under a bilateral treaty, a Sydney court was told yesterday.
WARTIME DIPLOMACY: Zelenskiy met EU leaders and hosted the International Summit on Food Security, which included discussions on agricultural exports from Ukraine Fleeing shelling, civilians on Saturday streamed out of the southern Ukrainian city whose recapture they had celebrated just weeks earlier. The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia’s war in Ukraine does not deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports. A line of trucks, vans and cars, some towing trailers or ferrying out pets and other belongings, stretched 1km or more on the outskirts of the city of Kherson. Days of intensive shelling by Russian forces prompted a bittersweet exodus: Many civilians were happy that their city had been won back, but
Polish women have not been this angry for this long, and they are taking on the ruling conservatives. Incensed by remarks from the country’s most powerful politician, former Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who accused them of drinking excessively and keeping the birthrate low, many took the streets of Warsaw on Monday. It is a repeat of scenes from two years ago when hundreds of thousands of women marched against a near-total ban on legal abortions, in Poland’s largest public protests in decades. What is different this time is that the ruling party is facing the biggest challenge to its two-term rule before