KABUL, Oct 25 (KUNA) -- The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) regretted the killing of four civilians and injuries to three others in its firing in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar.
A statement from ISAF headquarters here said the civilians were killed and injured as a car driver did not stop despite several signals by the multinational force soldiers.
The troops tried repeatedly to signal the fast-approaching vehicle with passive measures, but fearing for their safety, they fired on the vehicle. The injured were given immediate first aid before being taken to a nearby hospital by a local ambulance.
"We are deeply sorry for the loss of any life, especially civilians. We take many precautions to prevent this type of tragedy," said Col. Wayne Shanks, an ISAF spokesman.
"We make every effort to minimize the risk of any damage, injury, or loss of life to civilians during our operations," he added.
Earlier, locals complained that the ISAF troops opened fired at the civilian car during patrol in Kandahar City, capital of the Province of the same name.
Commander of the international troops in Afghanistan has recently issued directives to his forces to do all possible to keep civilian casualties at the minimum level.
Afghan officials said the incident of civilian casualties in ISAF firing occurred on Saturday. The victims included two women, a child, and a young man. Civilian casualties, particularly the death of women and children in military operations, increase anger against the foreign troops and generate more support for the Taliban who are involved in a bloody insurgency against the Afghan government and the NATO and American troops.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai also repeatedly asked the NATO and American troops to avoid civilian casualties which proved counterproductive for their efforts to win hearts and minds of the Afghan people and restore peace in the war-devastated country.(end) gk.wsa KUNA 250902 Oct 09NNNN