Seven Polish soldiers have gone on trial on charges of killing a group of Afghan civilians during a military tour in eastern Afghanistan two years ago.

Six of the soldiers, who served as members of NATO's international security force, face life in prison if convicted by the military tribunal in Warsaw.  The seventh faces a lesser sentence.  All have denied the charges.

Prosecutors say the group was sent to help another unit of Polish soldiers whose vehicle was disabled by a roadside bomb.  Prosecutors have told the tribunal the unit launched a mortar barrage and machine gun fire on homes in a village in Afghanistan's Paktika province, killing six residents and wounding three others.

Lead prosecutor Colonel Jakub Mytych said there was no threat to the troops from the villagers.

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