German Friendly Fire Kills 6 Afghan Soldiers

KABUL — German soldiers called in as reinforcements following a Taliban ambush mistakenly killed five Afghan government soldiers, officials said Saturday. A German armoured personnel carrier was en route late Friday to reinforce troops who had been engaged in a fierce battle with Taliban fighters since the morning at Chahar Dara near the city of Kunduz. They opened fire at a civilian car which approached their patrol, killing five Afghan soldiers who were inside, German military officials said. Afghan defence ministry spokesman, General Mohammad Zahir Azimi confirmed the incident but said six soldiers lost their lives. The ministry "condemns" the "incident," it said in statement. Three German soldiers were killed in Friday's engagement with Taliban fighters and eight were wounded, four seriously. Kunduz, in the northeast of the country, is troubled by Taliban and other insurgent groups. There are about 120,000 international, mostly NATO and US troops, based in Afghanistan.