April 3rd, 2010
03:38 AM ET

Six Afghan soldiers killed in friendly fire incident

International forces mistakenly killed six Afghan soldiers in northern Kunduz province, Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.

The Afghan National Army soldiers were carrying food to troops in Khakani village of Chardara district, the ministry said in a news release. German soldiers shot them by mistake late Friday night.

The NATO-led command said the incident occurred when troops used "escalation of force procedures to stop two incoming vehicles approaching their security position. Unfortunately after the engagement, ISAF forces discovered that the vehicles were carrying Afghan National Army soldiers in which several were regrettably killed."

"This loss of life during difficult operations is tragic, and we share condolences with all those who lost loved ones yesterday, said Brig Gen.Eric Tremblay, NATO's International Security Assistance Force spokesman. "We work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations, and incidents such as this hurt these efforts. We deeply regret the loss of lives from our Afghan partners."

ISAF and the Afghan Defense Ministry were investigating.

The friendly fire incident followed a fierce encounter with Taliban fighters Friday that left three German soldiers dead and five others wounded, said Mohammad Omar, the governor of Kunduz.

Germany has 4,335 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Really?

    So why isn't the title of the article "9 soldiers killed in Konduz"? The way this is written, it is as though the three German soldier deaths are an afterthought.

    April 3, 2010 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. RandCorp

    This is unfortunate, All combat related personnel should be carrying Nightvision and InfraRed Strobe lights, – To avoid these accidental night misidentification mishaps....

    Condolences to the familes of those Afghan soldiers killed in the line of duty.

    April 3, 2010 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. leavelaw

    What's interesting, is that the BBC report didn't use the word "mistake" in their article. They implied they were killed because they kept approaching and failed to stop. BBC did make it clear that those who were killed were not the enemy. It's interesting, the differences in key words in articles. CNN's article seems to imply blame. The BBC's article states an unfortunate situation due to lack of communication.

    April 3, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Boone

    I wonder why the alleged Afghan soldiers where driving in an unmarked civilian vehicle that allegedly did not or could not stop when warned to do so. I do not blame the NATO forces at all for stopping this vehicle in its tracks. Let this incident be a warning to others who would like to try a stunt like this.

    April 3, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ranger14

    It is vary sad that a loss of life happened. However the ROE (Rules of engagement) are vary clear, along with SOP's (Standard Opperations Proceduers) and EOF (escalation of force).
    It is always stressful working a CP (check point), if the vehical didnt stop when ordered. Then what happened was a resoult of proper training. The soldiers should have stopped at the CP. plain and simple. The ISAF soldiers did what they were trained to do.

    April 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. desert voice

    All I can say is that these Germans are idiots! Even a moron, if given a command, would have coordinated the food delivery without incidents! There are thousands of way to establish secure passwords and identification methods. We are in the age of cybernetics, aren't we? If you don't know Pashtun, paint the food deliverers, uniforms pink! That will save lives! I cannot believe what goes on in today's world! I wonder what Mrs. Merkel has to say about this.

    April 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Army35

    It would be great if our Afghan military and police had the resources that our military and the German mliitary has, such as NVGs and mliitary vehicles, but they do not. The Afghan security forces rely on whatever they can to get what little supplies they have (largely due to corruption in the supply chain) to their troops usually on very unsecure and remote outposts. It is a shame the Afghan Army personnel did not adhere to rules they know; however, if you research the mentorship alignment in the area you would know that the German Army does not mentor the Afghan Army and therefore, would have no reason to coordinate a supply run by their army. Mind you, we are also trying to get the Afghan security forces to operate on their own...why in the world would we demena them in such as a manner as to require them to report their food runs?

    April 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. desert voice

    Each time we hear the word "Afghanistan," we hear the word "corruption." Why is that? My understanding has always been, and most people's in the world, that the Afghans are decent, courageous, and patriotoc people. Let's forego "courageous" for a moment, which is self-explanatory, and focuss on the "decent and patriotic." Decent and patriotic come together: there can't be one without the other. Patriotism is historically traced to the heads of governments, with the caveat that, If heads are unpatriotic, they are quickly deposed. It appears than, at first sight, that the fault lies squarely with President Karzai ... since the people are decent and patriotic! He is supposed to provide the decent and patriotic people to man and run the army, the police, and the ministries! Yet there is another underlying complication: there is a crisis of understanding in Afghanistan what "patriotism" means! People themeselves, do not have their allegiances straight! Their sense of nationhood is blurred and unhealthy! So problem is not just President, but the people! How do we fix that? I am optimistic. It's XXI century! Let reeducate Afghanistan using the modern means of communication! No more back door opium smoke filled rooms! Let's buy them T.V.s and radios and start telling them what real patriotism means! The President should be in the forefront of this effort, but not he alone: the West must fully participate in "educating" him and the people by means of an independent, alternate radio Afghanistan!

    April 9, 2010 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Muhammad Morgan

    when i get lazy cooking, i just order from food delivery services.*;`

    June 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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    i am a regular customer of food delivery services and i find them very convenient,:-

    July 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
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    sometimes i get too lazy to cook my own food so i would have to call the food delivery service"':

    October 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
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    food deliveries are very convienient that is why me mostly order our lunch from several food delivery services here in NY ,`'

    December 13, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
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    September 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. facial fitness

    Yes, David, it is important to have your priorities straight. Why bother thinking about what you want to achieve and what it is good for, especially if this has been discussed before.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |