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NATO raid kills five Afghan soldiers

NATO airstrike, which killed 5 Afghan soldiers and wounded 17 others, is likely to set President Karzai on another attack against U.S.

Published: Updated:

A NATO airstrike in eastern Logar province on Thursday accidentally killed five Afghan National Army soldiers and wounded another 17, government officials said.

“The reason for the air strike is not clear and an investigation is ongoing,” Reuters quoted the provincial governor’s spokesman Din Mohammad Darwish as saying.

The NATO-led force in Afghanistan later confirmed that the Afghan soldiers were killed accidentally.

The deaths are likely to worsen already fraught relations between the U.S.-led NATO coalition and President Hamid Karzai, who has often seized on botched airstrikes to launch bitter criticism of the international military effort in Afghanistan.

“At 3:30am this morning, due to a NATO airstrike in Charkh district, Logar province, five service members of the Afghan national army were martyred and eight others were wounded,” Agence France-Presse quoted defense ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi as saying on his Twitter account.

Khalilullah Kamal, the Charkh district governor, told AFP he had visited the site of the attack, which he said was from a U.S. drone.

“The post is totally destroyed,” he said. “The Americans used to be in that post but since they left, the ANA (Afghan army) took over. The post is on a hilltop. The attack was conducted by drones.”

President Karzai, who is due to stand down after elections on April 5, in an interview this week expressed his “extreme anger” towards the United States as it prepares to end its 13-year war in Afghanistan.