Police in Afghanistan said on Wednesday that US-led air strikes against insurgents had killed 100 people, most of them civilians, in one of the deadliest such attacks in nearly eight years.
The US military opened an investigation into the operation overnight on Monday into yesterday in the remote western province of Farah, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his government to probe reports of high civilian casualties.
"During the aerial bombardment and ground operations, more than 100 people have died," western Afghanistan police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told AFP, basing his information on reports from police, the Red Cross and locals.
"Twenty-five to 30 of them are Taliban, including from Chechnya and Pakistan, and the rest are civilians including children, women and elderly people," he said.
Teams from the Afghan government, international forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) would travel to the area to investigate, he added.
Deputy provincial governor Mohammad Younus Rasouli said that he had seen the bodies of 20 children brought by villagers to the provincial capital, also called Farah.
The clashes and air strikes were in volatile Bala Buluk, district about 600 kilometres southwest of Kabul.