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American military officials are confirming that eight civilians were killed and 35 others injured in a Sunday incident, though they have not confirmed reports that the civilians were killed by U.S. fire.

According to a Tuesday news release, a five-vehicle convoy was moving through a market in Bari Kot when insurgents attacked with small-arms fire and a car bomb.

“Coalition forces returned fire in defense of the patrol, and Afghan National Police, Afghan National Army and Coalition forces responded promptly to the attack, securing the area and providing immediate on-site medical attention to the wounded civilians,” the news release read.

But Afghan civilians said Marines fired on the crowd and civilian vehicles as the Marines tried to escape the market after the attack.

The incident sparked violent protesters by hundreds of Afghans. A second incident involving civilian casualties — the bombing of civilian house, killing a family of nine, during a firefight — increased the tensions.

“This attack put every innocent man, woman and child buying food or clothing in the bazaar at risk,” Army Col. John Nicholson, the Task Force Spartan commander, was quoted as saying in a news release.

“The criminals and terrorists responsible for this attack show no regard for the lives of innocent Afghans. We deeply regret this loss of life and will work closely with Islamic Republic of Afghanistan authorities to investigate and identify those responsible.”

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