At least five Afghan soldiers have been killed by German troops in a case of so-called “friendly fire.”
It came hours after the Germans lost three of their own on Friday in an ambush by Taliban insurgents in the northern Kunduz province.
Nato says the German unit was on its way to the scene of the fierce gunbattle during which five other troops were seriously hurt.
The soldiers are said to have opened fire after two unmarked civilian vehicles failed to stop.
The incident coincided with the start of a three day visit by Germany’s Development Minister, Dirk Niebel. He is in Afghanistan to inspect various projects in the north of the country where most German troops are based.
A political row erupted over Germany’s role in Afghanistan last September when dozens of Afghan civilians were killed after German commanders ordered an air-strike on a hijacked fuel tanker.