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Cops among 17 killed in NATO airstrike in Helmand

AT-KABUL: Around 17 people including 11 policemen were killed and four others were injured last night after NATO forces mistakenly attacked the counter narcotics police convoy in Helmand province of Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.

The counter narcotic forces were busy in an operation when mistakenly targeted by NATO forces in Reg area in southern Helmand near Kandahar and Durand Line.

Spokesman for deputy counter narcotic of the Ministry of Interior, Mahdi Kazimi, told Afghanistan Times that 11 policemen were killed and four others injured while one was missing in the attack, “which is still under investigation.”

A provincial official on the condition of anonymity told Afghanistan Times that in addition to 11 policemen, six irresponsible men who were not in the police custody but present there were also killed in the attack.

He said the policemen did not coordinate their operation with provincial administration. While according to a recent decision, all sides who conduct any operation in Reg area, should inform the local officials in advance.

Helmand is producing more poppy among all Afghan provinces and is the main traffic way for smugglers, who shift their narcotics from southern Afghanistan to Afghan-Iran border.

NATO Press Office in Kabul in a statement said they had conducted no air strike in Helmand, but confirmed there was operation in adjacent Maiwand district of Kandahar.

“There were no Afghan Security Forces injured in the US strike,” NATO said in a statement.

In late July this year, about 10 army soldiers had been killed and five others wounded after NATO-led foreign forces’ helicopters fired on an Afghan army checkpoint in eastern Logar province.

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