NATO has apologized for what it called the accidental shooting of two boys in southern Afghanistan.
U.S. General Joseph Dunford, the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan, said troops from the international coalition had mistaken the two boys for insurgents during operations Thursday in Uruzgan province.
He apologized for the deaths Saturday and sent his personal condolences to the Afghan boys' families. Australian forces had been deployed in the area.
Civilian killings have increased tensions between the Afghan government and foreign troops throughout the nearly 12-year war. Last month a NATO air strike in Kunar province killed 10 people, including four children.