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NATO forces gun down Afghan driver

The co-driver of the truck told reporters he was wounded in the incident.

world Updated: Mar 14, 2007 17:49 IST

An Afghan truck driver was killed on Wednesday after NATO troops opened fire on his vehicle when he ignored warnings to move away from their convoy, the NATO force said.

The co-driver of the truck told reporters he was wounded in the incident in the volatile southern province of Kandahar.

"The driver failed to obey repeated warnings by Afghan National Army and NATO forces to stop or keep distance," International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman Squadron Leader Dave Marsh said.

"NATO forces fired three bullets into the engine block of the car and one of the bullets ricocheted and regrettably the driver was killed," he said.

There have been several such incidents in Afghanistan with troops worried about Taliban suicide car bombings that are targeted mainly at international and Afghan troops.

Vehicles of ISAF and the separate US-led coalition -- also working in Afghanistan -- have signs on their vehicles telling civilian cars to keep their distance and to not overtake.

Similar warnings are broadcast on radio and television.

In the worst such incident, eight civilians were killed in the eastern province of Nangarhar early this month following an ambush on a US convoy that prompted troops to open fire.

The US-led coalition says the ambush involved a suicide car bombing and small arms attack to which the troops returned fire. They have not specified when they believe the civilians were killed, saying only they were killed in the entire series of events.

Afghan witnesses and officials said soon after the event that the civilians were all killed in the return fire from US troops. An investigation is under way.