At least 17 Afghan police officers were killed and 14 others injured after the US Air Force mistakenly targeted its allies, an official said on Friday.
The involuntary massacre occurred overnight during clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents in Helmand province's Nahr-e-Saraj district, Attaullah Afghan, head of Helmand Provincial Council, told Efe news agency.
After the Taliban attacked a security check-post on the highway, police rushed to push the militants back and the US forces carried out the strikes to support the officers but erroneously targeted the allies, he said.
Omar Zwak, the spokesman for the Governor of Helmand, confirmed the incident and said it was being investigated.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, confirmed to Efe news agency that US forces "carried out strikes on their own hirelings, killing 35 police, including their four commanders".