German troops based in north Afghanistan killed six Afghan soldiers, a provincial governor said on Saturday, hours after the Germans lost three of their own soldiers in a gunfight with Taliban.
"They fired at the vehicle of the army and mistakenly killed six army soldiers," said Mohammad Omar, governor of Kunduz province in north Afghanistan, adding that the incident happened late on Friday night near Chardara district.
A statement from NATO said that on Friday evening a unit of German soldiers was approached by two unmarked civilian vehicles which failed to stop when troops signalled them "using a variety of methods" in the northern province of Kunduz.
"The force eventually fired on the vehicles killing at least five Afghan soldiers ... Initial reports indicate that the two civilian cars were part of an Afghan national army patrol en route to Kunduz," NATO-led forces said in a statement.
Earlier on Friday three German soldiers were killed in Kunduz and five others were seriously injured in fighting, the German Army Command in Potsdam said.
In February a NATO airstrike aimed at insurgents attacking a joint NATO-Afghan patrol in Kunduz 'accidentally' killed several Afghan policemen.
Germany is the third-largest NATO contributor to the war with some 4,300 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in northern Kunduz where Taliban attacks and strength have increased over the past year.
Germany's military chief resigned over Afghan civilian bombing during a September airstrike in Kunduz. The Sept. 4 strike was the most deadly attack involving German troops since World War Two.
It is reported that despite having knowledge of the presence of civilian victims in the attack, in which up to 142 people died, former defence minister Franz Josef Jung had initially insisted that there had been none - in newspaper interviews and in parliament.
The Kunduz attack has caused outrage in Germany, which according to opinion polls, a majority of the population opposes the Afghan war.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 03 Nisan 2010, 14:42