Five Afghan troops killed by 'friendly fire'

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The Independent Online

A Nato air strike mistakenly killed five of its Afghan army allies while they were on patrol in the country's east, officials said today.

Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi condemned the deaths, saying it was not the first time Afghan troops have died in "friendly fire".

Gen Azimi said the Afghan troops were launching a morning ambush against insurgents on the move in Ghazni province when Nato aircraft began firing on them. Five Afghan soldiers died and two more were wounded.

Nato spokesman Josef Blotz confirmed the botched air strike and said he regretted the deaths. He said a joint investigation has been launched.