20 Jul 2008

At least nine dead after accidental clash in Afghanistan

9:04 pm on 20 July 2008

Reports from Afghanistan say at least four local police officers and five civilians have been killed in an air attack after an accidental clash with US-led coalition forces.

The incident happened in the western province of Farah.

A BBC reporter says the fighting took place in the early hours of the morning and it was dark and there was much confusion.

The police opened fire on a joint convoy of Afghan national army and foreign troops, mistakenly believing they were Taleban fighters.

A local official said that the troops had arrived unannounced, which had raised suspicions.

On hearing the gunfire a number of locals had rushed to support the police.

Foreign troops called in air strikes during the clashes killing several policemen and civilians.