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Five Afghan Police Killed By Friendly Fire


Five Afghan policemen have been killed accidentally in a U.S. air strike.

The incident occurred late on July 31 in eastern Nangarhar Province.

A provincial government spokesman said Afghan special forces called for air support during a clash with a group of Taliban fighters at a police checkpoint.

Bryan Gatewood, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), said "a U.S. aircraft engaged, inadvertently killing five policemen and wounding two."

It was not immediately clear how many insurgents were killed.

Accidental casualties caused by Western air strikes are a major source of friction between President Hamid Karzai and his international allies.

The overnight incident comes as the United States is attempting to restart stalled talks with Karzai's government on the size of a military presence after most international troops withdraw next year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa
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