• Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a NATO airstrike that killed up to 16 civilians. (AAP)
NATO is denying reports that an airstrike in Afghanistan has killed up to 16 civilians, saying 10 militants had died in Kunar province.
Source:
AAP
9 Sep 2013 - 3:11 AM  UPDATED 13 Sep 2013 - 2:38 PM

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a NATO airstrike that according to local officials killed up to 16 civilians, as elsewhere a Taliban attack left at least four Afghan intelligence agents dead.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) denied that civilians had been killed, saying 10 militants had died in the airstrike in Kunar province, in the east of the country.

But a statement from the president's office said that according to Provincial Governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala a vehicle "was targeted by a NATO airstrike that killed 16 civilians including women and children".

"Hamid Karzai considers attacking women and children against all accepted international norms and strongly condemns it," the statement said.

Earlier the governor said that 12 civilians - four women, four children and four men - were killed alongside four al-Qaeda militants.

Civilian casualties in NATO operations have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and US-led NATO troops, who are winding down operations as they prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014.

In February, Karzai ordered a ban on Afghan forces calling for NATO air support in the country after an airstrike killed 10 civilians in Kunar.

Saturday's airstrike hit a utility vehicle carrying women and children and killing all on board, Kunar Police Chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhil said.

ISAF said it was aware of the allegations and was looking into the incident.

Meanwhile on Sunday, six attackers armed with guns and suicide vests attacked a National Directorate of Security (NDS) building in Maidan Shar, the capital city of Wardak province south of the capital Kabul, provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said.

"Five attackers and four intelligence officers were killed in the ensuing clash. Thirty civilians were wounded," he said.