Alwaght- An American Airstrike killed at least 18 Afghan policemen and injured 14 others in the war-torn country's southern province of Helmand, Washington Post reported.
The air raid was carried out by the US forces on Thursday night, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor.
A spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Dave Butler, said the aerial attack took place after Afghan forces requested "precision air support" during a firefight with the Taliban militants near the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, calling the casualties a “tragic accident.”
The head of the Helmand provincial council Ataullah Afghan confirmed that 18 afghan police were killed, adding that 14 other policemen had been injured.
However, Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi put the death toll at 8 and added that 11 people had been wounded.
The United States has recently stepped up its air raids in Afghanistan in an attempt to exert pressure on the Taliban to accept a negotiated end to their 18-year militancy. Civilian casualties have increased amid that heightened aerial campaign.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan recorded 649 civilians casualties as a result of aerial attacks in the first nine months of last year, the highest number in any year since systematic recording began in 2009.
The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end in the wake of a US-led invasion in 2001, but the militant group still continues to attack government and civilian targets as well as foreign forces.
The administration of US President Donald Trump is now negotiating with the Taliban group.