The big news yesterday was the death of 10 French soldiers in Afghanistan. They called it the worst Taliban attack on NATO forces in three years.
But hold the presses…
AFP and al-Jazeera are reporting that the French army refuses to comment on a report in Le Monde that the 10 French soldiers actually were killed by a NATO airstrike responding to the initial attack by militants.
The soldiers told the newspaper they waited for four hours for back-up after being ambushed. But when NATO planes finally arrived they hit French troops after missing their target, the newspaper quoted the soldiers as saying. The report added that Afghan soldiers sent in as backup also mistakenly targeted the French soldiers.
A NATO official said on Wednesday: “I have nothing substantive to confirm or deny this particular suggestion. “We are aware of the media reports and therefore we have to look into it.” The official said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) “would probably defer in the first instance to the French authorities,” in the investigation.
Junior Defense Minister Jean-Marie Bockel, asked to comment on Le Monde‘s report, said: “this is not the time for polemics, this is a day of compassion, of national unity around our soldiers.”