An airstrike against suspected insurgents has killed five civilians in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, Nato said tonight.
Today’s accident follows the deaths yesterday of 12 Afghans, who were killed by two US rockets in neighbouring Helmand province.
Some 15,000 US, Afghan and other international forces are in Helmand on the third day of a major offensive to reclaim the town of Marjah from Taliban control.
Civilian casualties are a sensitive issue in the eight-year-old war.
A Nato statement said a joint patrol of Nato and Afghan troops saw individuals digging along a path in the Zhari district of Kandahar province and mistakenly concluded that they were planting an improvised explosive device.
Two civilians were wounded in the strike.