KABUL, Afghanistan — An apparent friendly fire incident has killed five Americans troops in southern Afghanistan.
That’s according to a U.S. defense official who would provide no other details. An Afghan official said it happened in southern Zabul province.
A statement from NATO says the casualties happened during a “security operation” after the soldiers “came into contact with enemy sources.” A senior police official said the coalition soldiers may have been killed when they called for close air support.
If confirmed, it would be one of the worst cases of coalition-on-coalition friendly fire during the nearly 14 year war.
In 2002, four Canadian soldiers were killed when an American F-16 jet fighter dropped a bomb on a group near a night firing exercise in southern Kandahar.
he Pakistani army says it has carried out airstrikes in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing at least 15 militants.
An army statement says the air raids on Tuesday morning pounded nine hideouts of the militants in the Tirah Valley of the Khyber tribal region.
The area is part of a lawless terrain along the Afghan border that is home to a mix of local militants and al-Qaida-linked foreign fighters.
The military action came less than 36 hours after 10 Pakistani Taliban militants launched an assault on the nation’s busiest airport, killing 19 people and raising new challenges for the nuclear-armed nation that is trying to end years of fighting that has claimed thousands of lives.
An Iraqi official says dozens of militants have overrun the provincial government headquarters in the northern city of Mosul.
Ali Mahmoud, the media official for Ninevah province, says insurgents armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers stormed the government building in Mosul late on Monday night.
He says they overpowered the building guards after a short firefight.
A former al-Qaida stronghold, Mosul is 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad and is Iraq’s second-largest city.
Mahmoud says the governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi, was in a nearby guest house but managed to escape from the area unharmed.
Earlier, the gunmen torched several of the city’s police stations, freeing the detainees there.
The attack on Mosul comes as Iraq grapples with its worst surge in violence since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 and 2007.