|Three Special Forces Killed, 19 Wounded by Friendly Fire |
Three Special Forces Killed, 19 Wounded by Friendly Fire
Fort Drum Soldier Dead by Staff Sgt. Marcia Triggs, Army News Service.
Washington D.C. -- (ANS) December 5, 2001 - Three Special Forces soldiers were killed and 19 were wounded north of Kandahar, Afghanistan, when a 2,000-pound U.S. bomb missed it's target and hit in close proximity to friendly forces Dec. 4.
The names are being withheld until next-of-kin notifications have been completed.
A B-52 that was called in to provide fire support to ground forces who were under fire, reportedly dropped it's ordnance about a football field away from two Special Forces teams and Afghan opposition fighters, officials said.
Two soldiers were pronounced dead at the scene, and the third soldier died while being transported to a medical facility in the region, officials said. Five Afghan opposition fighters were also killed and an unknown amount wounded, officials said.
"A close air-support strike is one of the most potentially hazardous types of missions used," officials said. "Simultaneously calling in air strikes on your own position and the enemy's position that you're engaged with takes very fine control, coordination and precision.
Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen without causing our own casualties."
Officials said they would not speculate on the reason the precision-guided bomb missed its target, whether the wrong coordinates were given, wrong coordinates were entered on the plane or the system malfunctioned.
A second bomb was also dropped and it did hit the intended target, but officials said they did not know how much damage the bomb inflicted on enemy forces.
Since the war began this is the second U.S. bomb that has missed its target and hit in the proximity of U.S. troops. A stray bomb hit four soldiers and an airman while they were helping Northern Alliance forces fighting armed Taliban captives in a fort near Mazar-e Sharif.
In an unrelated incident, an infantryman from the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y. died Nov. 29 in Uzbekistan. Pvt. 2 Giovanny Maria, 19, was a native of Camden, N.J., and had enlisted in the Army in May.
Although the incident in under investigation, Maria's death was not the result of enemy action, officials said.