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US airstrike kills Afghan police officers in Helmand province

17 Afghan security personnel were killed in an airstrike carried out by US helicopter gunships in Gereshk district, Helmand province

A number of Afghan security personnel were killed in an airstrike in Helmand province on Friday, July 21, a statement from NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said.

We can confirm local security personnel aligned with Afghan Government forces were killed in an airstrike in Gereshk District in Helmand Province late this afternoon.…

During a U.S. supported ANDSF operation, aerial fires resulted in the deaths of the friendly Afghan forces who were gathered in a compound.

CENTCOM statement

US Forces Afghanistan told Grasswire: “Initial reports indicate nine local security personnel aligned with Afghan Government forces were killed.”

Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary tweeted that helicopter gunships struck police in security post recently captured from the Taliban, killing 17 police including two commanders.

The New York Times’s Mujib Mashal confirmed the strike killed 17 police officers, citing the provincial council.

Helmand provincial Governor Hayatullah Hayat said at least two commanders were killed but that the total number of dead and injured was not yet known, RFE/RL reported.

On Saturday, the Associated Press reported provisional police chief Abdul Ghafar Safi as saying that 12 Afghan National Police officers were killed and two others wounded. Safi said the officers were working in the area with the army, and had just recaptured the territory from the Taliban. The AP report also cited Helmand governor Hayatullah Hayat as saying the officers may not have been wearing their uniforms.

The Enemy Within: Are corruption, low morale and poor vetting bigger threats than the Taliban to the Afghan army?

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