NATO air strike kills Afghan police, civilians: officials

NATO air strike kills Afghan police, civilians: officials

GHAZNI - Agence France-Presse
NATO air strike kills Afghan police, civilians: officials

Afghan police stand near destroyed vehicles as they investigate at the site of an air strike in the southeastern town of Ghazni March 30, 2013. A NATO helicopter supporting Afghan security forces killed two children and nine suspected Taliban fighters on Saturday, officials said, a month after President Hamid Karzai forbade troops to call for foreign air support. REUTERS/Mustafa Andaleb

A NATO air strike killed four Afghan police and two civilians on Thursday, Afghan officials said.

The US-led international military coalition said it was investigating.

The attack happened after Taliban insurgents attacked a local police post in Ghazni province before dawn and NATO planes were called in to support the officers under attack.

"The NATO planes went there to assist the police, but the post was bombed and four police were killed. Two civilians present were also killed," Fazul Ahmad Tolwak, chief of Ghazni's Deh Yak district, told AFP.

Ghazni provincial administration spokesman Fazul Sabawoon confirmed the incident and gave a similar account.

A NATO spokesman in Kabul told AFP that the force was checking the information.

The issue of civilian casualties in coalition operations is highly sensitive in Afghanistan, where the United States and its NATO allies have been fighting the Taliban for 11 years.

In the past they have provoked harsh criticism from Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is due to step down at elections next year, coinciding with the scheduled withdrawal of foreign combat troops.