Kabul (dpa) - Thirty-six people, 30 of them children, were killed in an airstrike last month by the Afghan Air Force in northern Kunduz during a religious ceremony, the UN revealed in a report on Monday.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report, the April 2 airstrike in the Dasht-e Archi district on a gathering of men and boys also left 71 people injured, including 51 children.
The report added that UNAMA has credible information that the figures are higher, but the agency's rigorous method of casualty verification requires three independent sources to confirm each death.
The report said that the Quran recitation graduation ceremony was "widely publicized and known," and the crowd was made up primarily of civilians, "many of whom were children, many under the age of 10."
UNAMA added that the high number of child casualties brings into question the Afghan government's respect for rules of war.
Following the attack, the Afghan government had said that the target was a "military gathering" of the Taliban where top Taliban commanders, including members of the Quetta Shura, had gathered.
Haji Mohammad Naim, a tribal elder and witness to the attack, had told dpa that at least 50 civilians were killed and at least 65 hurt.