Five U.S. service members were killed in southern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday, when they apparently were hit by a coalition airstrike.
A statement from the U.S.-led international coalition said the five service members were killed but did not say why. An Afghan official said it was from an airstrike in southern Zabul province, according to the Associated Press.
“The casualties occurred during a security operation when their unit came into contact with enemy forces. Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation,” the coalition statement said.
Provincial police chief Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rooghlawanay told the AP there was a joint NATO-Afghan operation in the Arghandab district early Monday. The troops then came under Taliban fire and called in air support.
That’s when the NATO airstrike killed the five NATO soldiers and one Afghan army officer, he said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Zabul.