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Air Raid Kills 11 Afghan Drug Police

Afghan officials said Monday that an overnight airstrike in a restive southern province has killed at least 11 anti-drug police and wounded four others.

The Afghan Interior Ministry said Sunday that there were a total of 20 police personnel in Helmand's Sangin district at the time of the strike. It said four were unharmed and one is still missing.

Afghan officials initially said the strike was carried out by NATO, which said no airstrikes were carried out in Helmand at the time.

A counternarcotics operation was said to be underway at the time of the air raid.

The victims were reportedly wearing civilian outfits and riding in private vehicles.


No other details were immediately available as to what prompted the air raid in the area where Taliban insurgents are also active.

Helmand is a known major poppy producing Afghan province, where the Taliban has recently made territorial gains after bloody clashes with Afghan security forces.

The Taliban's latest advances include capturing of the key district of Musa Qala, though Afghan authorities claim to have beaten back the Taliban from most of the area.

NATO fighter plans have also assisted Afghan forces in their counteroffensive. National and international studies have linked Income from the illegal narcotics trade to the insurgent activities in Afghanistan.