An Afghan official says four children were killed in a remote area in central Ghazni province during a fierce battle between government forces and the Taliban.

However, residents of the Deh Yak area where the fighting took place on Wednesday brought the bodies of the children to the provincial capital, Ghazni, to protest their killing.

They said the children — all under the age of 10 — died in an airstrike, not by being caught in the crossfire.

The Afghan official, Arif Noor, said on Thursday that the government is investigating.

But Noor also stressed that the attack occurred in a remote area where the Taliban are strong and that it's dangerous for government officials to travel there.