- Some reports say civilians were killed in a recent NATO bombing
- The Afghan president orders an investigation
- The incident could put more strain on relations between Afghanistan and NATO forces
The Afghan government will investigate reports of civilian casualties in a recent NATO bombing, the office of President Hamid Karzai said Thursday.
Karzai has appointed a delegation to investigate the bombing in Kunar province.
According to reports, four children, a woman and a man were killed in the incident, the president's office said.
NATO forces led by the United States have been battling the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies in Afghanistan for a decade, since al Qaeda's 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. A U.S. invasion swiftly deposed the Taliban, which had ruled most of Afghanistan before the attacks, but the fundamentalist Islamic movement regrouped as a guerrilla movement battling allied troops and Karzai's government.
Already-strained ties among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States were aggravated by a November airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani troops at border posts along the Afghan frontier. Karzai has chafed at American raids that have killed Afghan civilians, while his critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt administration and a 2010 election that international observers said was riddled with fraud.
International troops are scheduled to be withdrawn in 2014. Karzai said the allied force has been able to provide political stability for Afghanistan over the past 10 years, but security for individual Afghans "is yet to come."
Afghan civilians have also been killed by militants deploying suicide bombers or roadside bombs.