Afghan airstrike kills 10 security forces officials in Helmand

Afghan airstrike kills 10 security forces officials in Helmand”

At least ten officers from Afghanistan's police and intelligence agency have been killed in an airstrike mistakenly carried out by the Afghan Air Force on their own checkpoint in the province of Helmand, AP reported citing Afghan officials.

Helmand's governor Hayatullah Hayat said the air raid was conducted in Gereshk district, where the military had been attempting to push back the militants.

Hayat said that an investigation is under way. The Sunday incident left another 11 injured, according to a member of the local council in the Gareshk district, Gul Agha Muslim.

Defense Ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri confirmed the air strike, without providing further details.

The latest deadly incident comes more than two months after a United States airstrike killed 16 Afghan police in the same district, large parts of which are under the Taliban control.

The Afghan government is struggling to beat back insurgents in the wake of the exit of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in 2014.

A USA report found earlier this year that the Taliban controls or contests control of about 40 percent of the country, and security forces are also fighting against militants affiliated with the extremist group Islamic State (IS). USA and Afghan commanders see air power as a vital weapon to prevent the area falling completely to the insurgents.Building up Afghanistan's own air power is a central part of President Ashraf Ghani's four-year strategic plan and the Afghan Air Force has steadily bolstered its capacity to provide logistical support to ground forces as well as air strikes.But one effect has been an increase in the number of unintended casualties caused by accidents.

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