WASHINGTON -- A U.S. defense official says five NATO service members who were killed in southern Afghanistan were American.
The official insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter by name. This official referred to earlier statements issued by t for additional detailshe international coalition.
The international coalition said Tuesday the service members were killed in an apparent friendly fire incident. The statement said all five soldiers died on Monday but did not give further details on the attack or the nationality of the soldiers.
If confirmed, it would be one of the most serious cases involving coalition-on-coalition friendly fire during the nearly 14 year Afghan war.
The deaths bring to 36 the number of NATO soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, with eight service members killed in June.
Casualties have been falling in the U.S.-led military coalition as its forces pull back to allow the Afghan army and police to fight the Taliban insurgency. All combat troops are scheduled to be withdrawn from the country by the end of this year.
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