Afghan authorities on Tuesday accused the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force of shooting to death two women and wounding three children in an operation in the western province of Herat.

ISAF said it is investigating the incident.

The chief of police in the Shindland district, Ghulam Sakhi Hussaini, told the Afghan news agency AIP that the incident occurred Monday night when members of the ISAF raided a home in search of Taliban insurgents.

A shootout erupted during the raid in which two top Taliban leaders were killed and the civilian victims were killed or wounded at the same time, Hussaini said.

A NATO spokesman told AIP that military authorities were aware of the allegations about the civilian deaths in the Shindland district but that for the moment not enough information was available to clarify the incident.

The death of civilians is one of the main sources of friction between the Afghan authorities and NATO, which in 2011 began a progressive withdrawal from the country.

The transition process should conclude in 2014 if the scheduled deadlines are met. EFE