Accessibility links

NATO Apologizes for Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

NATO has apologized for the deaths of four Afghans shot by international troops, saying their report describing two of those killed as "known insurgents" was incorrect.

NATO says troops fired on a vehicle Monday in eastern Khost province because it kept accelerating toward the military convoy despite warnings to stop.

The shooting sparked outcry from the victims' family members, who say all four of those killed were teenagers driving home from a volleyball game.

A NATO statement Wednesday said a spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Todd Vician originally called two of the victims insurgents because their fingerprints matched those in a database for previous insurgent activity. But NATO says their presence in the database does not necessarily mean the two were militants.

NATO also said trainers will be deployed throughout Afghanistan to ensure troops understand combat guidance and have learned lessons from previous incidents resulting in civilian casualties.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the killings and has ordered an investigation into the incident. He called on international forces in Afghanistan to avoid civilian casualties.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.