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NATO Troops Fire on Approaching Car, Kill 4 Civilians

NATO troops in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province fired on a vehicle that approached their convoy late Monday, killing four unarmed civilians.

NATO released a statement Tuesday saying the vehicle continued to accelerate toward the convoy and ignored light signals and warning shots. The statement said several rounds were fired in an attempt to disable the vehicle, and finally shots were fired into the vehicle itself.

Lieutenant Colonel Todd Vician, a NATO spokesman, said two of the occupants inside the car were described as insurgents based on information found in the military's biometric database.

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

Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of Kandahar City, Azizullah Yarmal, was shot and killed Monday while praying at a mosque. A provincial spokesman said the killers have not been caught.

The Taliban has a strong presence in Kandahar, ruling the country from the city between 1996 and 2001.

Kandahar province spokesman Zalmai Ayubi told the Associated Press the deputy mayor's assassination is part of an insurgency strategy to target and intimidate government officials.

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