Hundreds of protesters have gathered in southern Afghanistan, chanting anti-American slogans and carrying the bodies of four children they said were killed by NATO forces during a clash with the Taliban.
Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar, the deputy provincial governor in southern Zabul Province, said the children, aged 8 to 12, died during a gun battle between Taliban insurgents and NATO and Afghan security forces in the district of Shahjoy.
Rasoulyar said some witnesses claimed it was the insurgents, and not foreign forces, who were responsible for the deaths.
NATO says it is investigating the incident.
U.S.-led forces have been blamed for numerous civilian casualties in Afghanistan, including an incident in March when U.S. soldier, Robert Bales, reportedly killed 17 people, including nine children, in a shooting rampage.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa