WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two U.S. defense officials say the five Americans killed in Afghanistan, apparently by friendly fire, were special operations troops.
The officials made the disclosure on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details publicly until Pentagon notification to the families of the five had been completed. They provided no details about the special operations unit involved or the exact circumstances of the five deaths.
The incident happened Monday in southern Afghanistan. An Afghan official said the five were killed, along with one Afghan officer, in a mistaken allied airstrike. If confirmed it would be one of the worst friendly fire incidents involving United States and coalition troops since the start of the war nearly 14 years ago.
A U.S. defense official says five NATO service members who were killed in southern Afghanistan were American.
The official insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter by name. This official referred to earlier statements issued by the international coalition for additional details.
The international coalition said Tuesday the service members were killed in an apparent friendly fire incident. The statement said all five soldiers died on Monday but did not give further details on the attack or the nationality of the soldiers.
If confirmed, it would be one of the most serious cases involving coalition-on-coalition friendly fire during the nearly 14 year Afghan war.