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Five Children Killed In Afghan Shoot-Out With Taliban

CANBERRA (Reuters) -- Five children have been killed after a shoot-out between Taliban insurgents and Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, the Australian Defense Force said.

The incident happened on February 12 in Oruzgan Province, where Australia's special forces were clearing a number of houses in the hunt for insurgents, defense officials said in a statement.

"Current reporting indicates that those killed include a suspected insurgent and, sadly, local nationals including five children killed, and two children and two adults injured," it said.

Those injured in the incident were treated at the scene and evacuated for further treatment.

Australia's military has started an inquiry into the incident, but said the rules of engagement for forces in Afghanistan were designed to minimize civilian casualties.

Australia has around 1,100 troops in Afghanistan, based mainly in the southern Uruzgan Province where the Taliban has a strong presence.