MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan - NATO troops killed six civilians during a night raid on a house in northern Afghanistan's Sar-e Pul province late Monday, the provincial governor told Reuters.
The NATO-led force said soldiers on a joint operation with Afghan troops had killed five men who were armed and opened fire on them. They are investigating the identity of the dead men, a spokesman said.
Afghans are allowed by law to own guns, and in rural areas many do, to protect against threats from bandits, militias or rivals with weapons.
Critics of night raids say people confused at being woken from sleep may open fire on troops who arrive under cover of darkness, even if they have no insurgent links.