Friendly fire kills 3 U.K. soldiers in Afghanistan
Published Friday, August 24, 2007 9:19AM EDT
A friendly fire incident has claimed the lives of three British troops, killed while on patrol in Afghanistan.
A bomb dropped from a U.S. jet is believed to have been responsible for the deaths, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said Friday in a press release.
The soldiers were patrolling northwest of Kajaki, in southern Helmand province, Thursday evening when they were attacked by Taliban insurgents.
"During the intense engagement that ensued, close air support was called in from two US F15 aircraft to repel the enemy. One bomb was dropped and it is believed the explosion killed the three soldiers," says the press release.
The three soldiers were declared dead at the scene. Two other soldiers were also injured in the incident and were evacuated by helicopter to a medical facility.
The events surrounding the incident are subject to an investigation, says the statement.
The families of the soldiers have asked for a 24-hour grace period before further details are released.
The deaths occurred just one day after two Canadian soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were killed by a roadside bomb.
Master Warrant Officer Mario Mercier, a member of 2nd Batallion, Royal 22nd Regiment and Master Cpl. Christian Duchesne, of the 5th Field Ambulance were killed Wednesday when a bomb struck their LAV-III armoured vehicle in southern Afghanistan.