Kabul: An air attack has killed 17 policemen by mistake during a battle with the Taliban just outside the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah in Afghanistaninfo-icon's southern Helmand province, officials said.

Attaullah Afghan, the head of the provincial council, said the attack took place on Thursday while Afghan police were fighting the Taliban near the city.

Fourteen policemen were wounded in the attack, he added.

A spokesperson for the provincial governor said the strike was carried out by NATO Resolute Support mission force in the Nahr-e-Seraj area of the Helmand-Kandahar highway.

There was no immediate response to a query to the USinfo-icon military in Kabul. American forces regularly back Afghan troops when asked to.

Helmand's Governor Mohammad Yasin said the air raid is being investigated. A Taliban statement claimed US forces were behind it.