US soldiers in Afghan friendly fire blunder

US soldiers opened fire on a taxi at a checkpoint in Kabul on Thursday, wounding three officers of Afghanistan's fledgling national army.

    Afghanistan's newly-formed army - trained by the Americans ... and shot by them!

    The incident happened in the eastern part of the city on a road leading to bases used by foreign peacekeepers and United States forces. The fledgling army is being set up and trained by US soldiers.    

       

    "The taxi failed to stop at a US checkpoint, so the soldiers opened fire," said Ahmad-uddin, a police officer at the scene. "Three officers of the Afghan National Army were

    wounded."

     

    Treatment

       

    Ahmaduddin said the wounded men were taken to a German military hospital for treatment. 

     

    The driver of the car, Mousa Khan, said he had been heading towards central Kabul when his vehicle came under fire. "When I got to the checkpoint, I saw two American

    vehicles," he said. "They didn't give me any warning, they just suddenly fired on my car."

       

    Khan said he had been carrying eight passengers and the three wounded men were sitting in the front. One was hit in the arm and the other two in the leg.

       

    "The taxi failed to stop at a US checkpoint, so the soldiers opened fire."

    --Ahmaduddin, Afghan police officer on the scene

    Khan's clothes were covered in blood from their wounds. The car was riddled with bullet holes and its windscreen shattered.

       

    The incident comes less than two months after a suicide bomber in a taxi killed four German peacekeeping soldiers and a passerby on the same road. More than 30 peacekeepers were wounded in that attack.

       

    The United States, France and Britain have been involved in training a new Afghan National Army still only 5,000 strong.

       

    About 1,000 men from the new force are currently taking part in operations alongside US and other foreign troops in the southeastern part of the country hunting Taliban and members of the al Qaeda network.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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