HERAT (Reuters/AFP) - Dozens of people in northwestern Afghanistan protested on Monday against civilian deaths in fighting between government forces and insurgents, but local authorities blamed elders for helping a Taliban ambush. Residents of Bala Murghab district of Badghis province said six civilians, including women and children, were killed during a firefight between Afghan and Taliban forces. The deputy governor said only two civilians died, but added that local collusion with the insurgents made it hard for security forces to avoid innocent deaths during firefights. We know that two people including a woman were killed, said deputy governor Abdul Ghani Saberi. We ask the people not to shelter the Taliban, he added. Saberi said in a typical example of deceit earlier this week, local elders invited the government to attend peace talks, but when a team arrived, they were led into an ambush that ended with the death of nine soldiers and some 30 insurgents. Local residents say they are not colluding with the Taliban for ideological reasons, just trapped between two sides and trying to survive in a warzone. The government arrest and beat shopkeepers for selling groceries to the Taliban, but we are victimised by both sides, shopkeeper Haji Mohammad Shah told Reuters. He said shops were shuttered as locals protested against the latest deaths. Meanwhile, Afghanistan has demanded that the United States return a young Afghan who has spent his teenage years in the Guantanamo Bay prison where lawyers said Monday he was regularly tortured. The Afghan government has sent a letter to the US embassy in Kabul demanding the repatriation of Mohammad Jawad, arrested in 2002 when he was 12 years old, a senior government lawyer told AFP. We expect the US government to return Jawad without any delay, Sayed Sharif Sharif told AFP. The detention of the youngster, now aged 19, was totally illegal, he added. Afghan police arrested Jawad in Kabul in December 2002 after a grenade attack which injured two US soldiers. He was later handed over to the US military which took him to its prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His US government-assigned lawyers, who are in Kabul to push the Afghan authorities to demand his release, say he is innocent.