Friday, November 6, 2009

Wire: At Least 25 Wounded in US Troop Search in Afghanistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that more than 25 NATO and Afghan troops were wounded during a search Friday for two missing U.S. paratroopers in western Afghanistan, the NATO-led force said.

The Taliban claimed the two missing soldiers were dead and it had recovered their bodies.

A statement from ISAF in Afghanistan said more than 25 troops were wounded during a search and rescue mission.

NATO spokesman Lieutenant Darin Russell said the troops were wounded "by insurgent activity." He declined to give further details of the incident, which he said was under investigation.

He did not say how many of the wounded were NATO troops and how many were Afghans, or whether any of them had been killed.

The Reuters news service reported that the chief of police in Badghis province in western Afghanistan, Abdul Jabar, said NATO aircraft had struck their own troops during the search and that several Americans had died in the "friendly fire" air strike.

NATO announced earlier Friday that two U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division had gone missing Wednesday.

Reports of missing troops in Afghanistan would automatically trigger a large-scale military response.

The Taliban said the two missing U.S. soldiers had drowned.

A U.S. soldier has been missing in the southeast since late June. Insurgents say they are holding him, and U.S. forces in the area launched a massive manhunt, Reuters said.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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