Reuters – BAGRAM, Afghanistan – U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan called in air support as a warning to two Afghan factions which fought a gunbattle in which two government soldiers were wounded, the U.S. military said on Friday.
Both of the wounded soldiers were evacuated to the U.S. air base at Kandahar in southern Afghanistan after receiving bullet wounds in Helmand province on Thursday evening, said U.S. spokesman Colonel Rodney M. Davis.
‘During a hostile engagement between two Afghan forces…one soldier was shot in the left hand and leg; the other soldier was shot in the right forearm,’ Davis told reporters at the U.S. headquarters at Bagram to the north of Kabul.
‘Two A-10s from Bagram air base were launched as a close air support presence,’ he said without giving more details.
Davis said both wounded soldiers were in stable condition.
U.S. forces are in Afghanistan pursuing remnants of the former Taliban regime and the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden blamed for the September 11 attacks on the United States.
As well as almost daily attacks by suspected Taliban remnants, Afghanistan has seen frequent outbreaks of factional fighting in recent months.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage arrived in Kabul on Friday for a one-day visit to reiterate his government’s commitment to the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai despite America’s engagement in Iraq.