Friday, August 24, 2007

Three British Troops Killed by US Airstrike in Afghanistan

From BBC Online

"Three British troops have been killed in Afghanistan by so-called friendly fire, the Ministry of Defence has said.

The MoD said the soldiers, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, were killed at around 1830 local time (1500 BST) on Thursday.

It is understood the soldiers died when US fighter planes, called to support ground troops, dropped a bomb near their patrol in Helmand province."
It has been widely reported that was the first confirmed friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in which US fire has led to British deaths. However, in reality this is probably at least the second such event, following the death of Jonathan Wigley at the end of 2006. This small number of friendly fire incidents contrasts with a relatively large number in Iraq. The overall increase in the conflict intensity in Afghanistan combined with an increased reliance on airpower, sadly, makes this type of incident more likely in the future.

For a look at our regular graphical analysis of British casualties in Afghanistan go here