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U.S. jet 'bombs British troops'

  • Story Highlights
  • Three British soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan
  • Deaths caused by suspected "friendly fire" incident
  • U.S. F-15 fighter jet called in for air support during Taliban clash
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(CNN) -- Three British soldiers were killed in a suspected "friendly fire" incident involving a bomb dropped from a U.S. fighter plane during a clash with Taliban militants in Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.

British troops pictured in action in Helmand province in March 2007.

The three British troops died during an operation against the Taliban near Kajaki in the southwestern province of Helmand, the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

It said air support from two U.S. F-15 aircraft was called in during the clash.

"One bomb was dropped and it is believed the explosion killed the three soldiers," the ministry said.

The deaths of the soldiers, who were serving under NATO command, brings to 73 the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led offensive of 2001. Many of those have died in a recent upsurge in Taliban activity in Helmand. Watch how the deaths have reopened old wounds Video

Two other soldiers were wounded and air-lifted to a nearby base for medical treatment.

Meanwhile, two coalition soldiers died in a non-combat "vehicle rollover" accident in the western province of Herat early Friday, a coalition press center statement said. Two other soldiers were also wounded in the accident, which the coalition said is under investigation.

The soldiers' names and nationalities were not immediately released.

In another non-combat related incident, a French NATO soldier was killed in a traffic accident in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Thursday, the French Defense Ministry said.


The incident occurred in city's Shakardara district, the ministry said. He was part of a patrol in a light armored vehicle.

He was the 11th soldier from France to die in the Afghan conflict. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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