5 American soldiers die from 'friendly fire' in Afghanistan

Coalition forces in Afghanistan confirm five soldiers killed during an attack in Afghanistan were Americans. It appears to be a case of friendly fire.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: "This image from the scene in southern Afghanistan. Troops believed to be Americans might have been involved in one of their own air strikes. No confirmation yet on that from the Pentagon."

A southern Afghanistan police chief told CBS U.S. and Afghan troops were conducting an operation together in Arghandab when they came under fire.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "What the U.S. believes happened is when they called in support, somehow a helicopter — a friendly helicopter — fired on their position."

Coalition forces confirmed as much in a statement released Tuesday.

"Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation."

The New York Times noted that statement originally did not include a cause, calling it "an unusual omission." It also reported the five U.S. troops were special ops soldiers and at least one Afghan soldier also died.

CBS and several other outlets report the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack on the coalition troops that led to the friendly fire. If confirmed air support fired on its own side, it would make this one of the deadliest cases of friendly fire since the start of the war in Afghanistan.

The most high-profile case was the death of U.S. Army Ranger and pro football player Pat Tillman, killed by coalition fire in 2004 after he quit his NFL career to join the armed forces. (Via U.S. Army)

In this latest case, the NATO forces were conducting security operations ahead of a presidential runoff election Saturday because April's elections didn't produce a clear winner. (Via Euronews)

All combat troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan and hand over security to the Afghan army and police by the end of the year. The five U.S. soldiers killed have not yet been identified.

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