International forces mistakenly killed six Afghan soldiers in northern Kunduz province, Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said.
The Afghan National Army soldiers were carrying food to troops in Khakani village of Chardara district, the ministry said in a news release. German soldiers shot them by mistake late Friday night.
The NATO-led command said the incident occurred when troops used "escalation of force procedures to stop two incoming vehicles approaching their security position. Unfortunately after the engagement, ISAF forces discovered that the vehicles were carrying Afghan National Army soldiers in which several were regrettably killed."
"This loss of life during difficult operations is tragic, and we share condolences with all those who lost loved ones yesterday, said Brig Gen.Eric Tremblay, NATO's International Security Assistance Force spokesman. "We work extremely hard to coordinate and synchronize our operations, and incidents such as this hurt these efforts. We deeply regret the loss of lives from our Afghan partners."
ISAF and the Afghan Defense Ministry were investigating.
The friendly fire incident followed a fierce encounter with Taliban fighters Friday that left three German soldiers dead and five others wounded, said Mohammad Omar, the governor of Kunduz.
Germany has 4,335 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.