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This white Toyota was fired upon after it approached Canadian troops who were formed into a security cordon. The driver was killed and a passenger wounded. ((CBC))

Canadian soldiers killed an Afghan civilian Tuesday morning, thethird shooting death of acivilianby Canadian gunfire inlittle more thana week.

The shooting occurred as a white Toyota approached Canadian troops who had stopped on a Kandahar road to form a security cordon around a broken-down armoured vehicle.

Maj. Dale MacEachern, a spokesman for the Canadian Forces, said the group of Canadians signalled for the approaching vehicle to stop, but troops opened fire when the civilian driver proceeded.

MacEachern said the driver first blew past a checkpoint manned by Afghan national police, ignoring orders to stay away.

"The driver then reportedly accelerated towards Canadian vehicles, prompted the soldiers to fire upon the vehicle, and causing it to swerve into a ditch," he said.

The Afghan driver was killed and a passenger was wounded.

Civilian shootings over the past yearhave increased tensions between Canadian troops and Afghans, from whom Canadians are trying to win trust in the region.

The Canadian Forces last week sent a message to troops to use more restraint before opening fire to avoid killing civilians.

Military probes shootings

On Feb. 18, Canadian soldiers killed an Afghan civilian and a member of the Afghan national police following an attack on a Canadian convoy. The military said the civilian approached Canadian Forces soldiers while they were engaged in a gun battle with insurgents and did not heed repeated warnings to move away.

A day earlier, Canadian troops also shot and killed an Afghan civilian.

The military is conducting investigations into all the cases.

More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region. Since the mission started in 2002, 44 Canadian soldiers and one Canadian diplomat have been killed.