updated 9/6/2008 6:59:48 PM ET 2008-09-06T22:59:48

Germany's Der Spiegel magazine said the Defense Ministry has paid a total of $20,000 to the families of three Afghan civilians killed last month at a security checkpoint.

The ministry confirmed that a payment was made to the victims' families but has not given a sum. It said the payment was not an admission of guilt.

Der Spiegel reported the payment figure Saturday in an article released in advance of its planned publication Sunday.

It said the woman and two children were killed when German security forces opened fire on their vehicle after it failed to stop at a checkpoint near Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.

The ministry said a soldier was being investigated in the incident.

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