NATO-led forces on Thursday night confirmed killing Afghan civilians during an operation in eastern Afghanistan one day earlier, Xinhua reported.
During a joint operation with Afghan forces to hunt down Taliban leaders in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province Wednesday night, Coalition forces came under attack by insurgents and civilians were killed in the ensuing firefight, said a statement issued by the International Security Assistance Forces ( ISAF) on Thursday.
"Following information received from provincial and local Nangarhar officials, it appears that between four and a dozen or more civilians were killed," it said.
The statement also said 15 to 20 insurgents, including two senior Taliban leaders were killed in the operation. The joint forces called in air cover as they continued to take fire from insurgents when they were leaving the area.
Rear Admiral Greg Smith, ISAF director of communication, said coalition forces deeply regret the deaths of civilians and will work with the Afghan government to probe into the incident.
On Thursday, local officials said between 20 to 30 civilians were killed during a clash between NATO-led troops and Taliban militants in Nangarhar province Wednesday night.
Afghan Presidential Palace in a statement issued Thursday afternoon said President Hamid Karzai instructed Interior Ministry as well as provincial administration in Jalalabad to initiate a probe into the subject.
This is the second such incident in Afghanistan over the past two weeks. In the first incident in Sangin district of southern Helmand province 39 civilians lost their lives, according to government statement.