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NATO strike kills five ANA troops in Afghanistan, ISAF calls it `accident`

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 15:09

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Kabul: In what NATO called an “unfortunate” incident, five Afghan soldiers were killed and at least 8 injured in an air strike in the eastern Afghanistan`s Logar province.

The air strike on early Thursday killed 5 soldiers of the Afghan National Army in the Charkh district of Logar province.

The information was given by Afghan defence ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi on his Twitter account.

In a statement, NATO`s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the incident, saying that the five ANA troops were killed "accidentally".

"Our condolences go out to the families of the ANA soldiers who lost their lives...An investigation is being conducted at this time to determine the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident," ISAF said in a statement.

Saying that ISAF valued relationship with Afghanistan, the statement sought to assure that action would be taken to ensure that such accidents will not be repeated.

"We will determine what actions will be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again," the statement said.
The attack is expected to further anger Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has earlier expressed immense outrage at the civilian deaths at the hands of the US-led security mission.
Also, Afghanistan is already in a strained relationship with the US because of the differences over the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA agreement) that would retain 10000-15000 US soldiers in Afghanistan after the completion of troops withdrawal by the end of the year.

However, Karzai wants the US to halt all military operations and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table as a pre-condition before he signs the agreement.

The US has however threatened that if the agreement is not signed, the NATO troops will be withdrawn completely from Afghanistan and the insurgency-stricken country will not avail millions of dollars in aid.

First Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 13:11
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