Afghan government helicopters have killed two children, ages 10 and 12, and left at least two children wounded and two others missing after bombarding a village in the eastern Ghazni province, officials and local witnesses say.
The fighting comes as Afghan government representatives and the Taliban are holding face-to-face talks in Qatar for the first time in an effort to end the country's decades-long war.
There has been a sharp rise in violence this year and a surge of attacks by the Taliban against Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces since the start of peace talks in September, in addition to deadly attacks last month claimed by Islamic State militants.
Ghazni's provincial council chief, Nesar Ahmad Faqiri, said on Tuesday that Afghan military helicopters were attempting to target Taliban militants in the village and hit the children by mistake.
He said the insurgents were able to escape the village after the air strikes.
The provincial governor's spokesman, Wahidullah Jumazada, said two children were dead and two wounded, all under the age of 12.
However, he could not confirm what caused the explosion.
Residents of De-Haji village told the Associated Press that five children were wounded and two were missing.
It was not immediately clear why there were differing casualty figures.
The villagers said helicopters had bombed the village's mosque, school and residential buildings on Sunday.
Witnesses described how the two boys were killed in their family's grocery store, which was housed in a shipping container.
Residents said the boys' father had left them alone in the store while he went for lunch at a religious ceremony and the wounded children were not part of the same family.
"The brothers' bodies were badly burnt, they were unrecognisable," said a witness, Abdul-Qayoom, who like many Afghans goes by one name.
He said the two missing children were possibly buried under the remains of the shipping container.
A tribal elder, Shahabuddin, said five wounded children had been taken to a hospital in the capital Kabul and were in critical condition.
Australian Associated Press