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Afghan woman, 2 children killed in Taliban facilitator pursuit

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A security force fires on a vehicle carrying several armed insurgents
  • The vehicle explodes; a woman and 2 children are found dead at the scene
  • "We deeply regret what occurred," ISAF official says
  • Six insurgents are killed, and several suspected insurgents are detained

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghan and coalition forces accidentally killed a woman and two children during a pursuit of a Taliban facilitator, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Saturday.

The forces were tracking a Taliban facilitator in Farah province Friday, according to the ISAF.

The facilitator is known to traffic foreign fighters and weapons from Iran, and associate with senior Taliban and al Qaeda leadership, the ISAF said.

The security force followed a vehicle carrying several armed insurgents to a compound in Farah, the ISAF said. After determining "hostile intent" from the group, the security force killed six men.

An air weapons team also struck the targeted vehicle, which exploded. The vehicle may have been full of homemade explosives, the ISAF said. A woman and two children were found dead at the scene.

"We deeply regret what occurred on [Friday's] operation," said U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command. "We are taking a step-by-step approach in investigating what went wrong and are always working to reduce civilian casualties. Our condolences go out to the family of these civilians."

In addition to the insurgent and civilian deaths, several suspected insurgents were detained, the ISAF said.

"We know the measure by which our mission will be judged is protecting the population from harm by either side. We must continue our emphasis on reducing the loss of innocent civilian life to an absolute minimum," Torres said.