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4 Afghan civilians killed during attack on insurgents, NATO says

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • ISAF says air support forces were firing on insurgents who had attacked
  • 4 civilians were killed and 3 wounded in the incident Wednesday
  • ISAF forces met with village elders to apologize; investigation is begun
  • Families of victims will be compensated, ISAF spokesman says

(CNN) -- Four Afghan civilians died and three others were wounded in a NATO-led operation on Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said Thursday.

The incident took place in the Andar district of Ghazni province. ISAF forces met with village elders to apologize for their actions and embarked on an investigation.

It is the latest incident of civilians caught in the crossfire of the Afghan war, a trend that has caused outrage and consternation among Afghan government officials and citizens.

ISAF said eight insurgents wielding small arms attacked an Afghan and coalition security force.

An air weapons team trying to protect the troops "accidentally struck a group of unarmed civilians, killing four and injuring three others."

ISAF spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith said families will be compensated in the wake of their losses.

"We deeply regret that our operation resulted in civilian loss of life and we express our sincerest condolences to the families," Smith said.