German troops kill 5 Afghan soldiers

German troops kill 5 Afghan soldiers

Nato forces mistakenly fire on army patrol vehicles

German troops kill 5 Afghan soldiers

Taliban insurgents pose in front of a burning German military vehicle in Isaa Khail village of Kunduz Province on Saturday. Three German soldiers were killed in the gunfight. REUTERS

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 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. The German troops were on their way to the scene of a gunfight with insurgents in which three German soldiers were killed and five others seriously wounded hours earlier, the statement said.

Earlier, the governor of Kunduz province, Mohammad Omar, said six Afghan soldiers had been killed in the incident which happened near Chardara district.

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.