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U.S. Forces Kill Four Afghans In Car, Police Say

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Four Afghans, including a child and two women, were killed when U.S. forces opened fire on a car in southern Kandahar city, police have said.

A man in the car also was killed when a U.S. military convoy opened fire on the civilian vehicle, Kandahar police official Shah Agha told Reuters. He said a U.S. Special Forces convoy appeared to be involved.

A spokeswoman for NATO in Afghanistan was not able to confirm the nationality of troops involved. A statement from the provincial governor of Kandahar confirmed the casualties.

A NATO spokesman in Afghanistan said three civilians were killed and two were wounded when NATO forces fired on the car because it failed to stop when repeatedly signaled to do so.

The spokesman was unable to confirm if children were among the casualties.

The incident comes while preparations are under way for Afghanistan's presidential election runoff, which the Taliban vowed earlier to disrupt and urged Afghans to boycott.

U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the new U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, issued a directive in July stressing the importance of avoiding civilian casualties, which have undermined support for the war against the Taliban.