Defence Minister Stephen Smith won't comment on the circumstances that led to the deaths of two Afghan children in an operation in which Australian troops were involved.
Mr Smith said Defence force chief General David Hurley and the commander of the International Security Assistance Force General Joseph Dunford had both issued pubic apologies for what he said was a terrible and tragic incident.
He said both ISAF and the Australian Defence Force had accepted responsibility.
Both had launched their own investigations to determine what happened and until those were completed, he would not go into details of what occurred.
'What we do know is that a terrible tragedy has occurred,' Mr Smith told reporters in Sydney.
'The ADF and ISAF have accepted responsibility and made that point to Afghan authorities.'
The boys, aged seven and eight, died on Thursday morning as Australian special forces soldiers fought back after an apparent Taliban attack in Oruzgan province.
Accounts of what happened vary, with some reports saying they were mistakenly shot and killed by Australian soldiers and others suggesting they were killed by fire from an ISAF helicopter.
Mr Smith says a compensation payment will be paid to the boys' family.