Two separate air strikes over the weekend killed at least 21 civilians in Afghanistan, including 14 children, the UN said.

In a statement late on Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said the 21 dead included 12 members of a family, as US and Afghan forces ramp up aerial bombings against armed groups.

Citing “preliminary findings”, UNAMA said the 12 family members were killed on Sunday in an air strike in the eastern Maidan Wardak province during an Afghan military operation.

“Ten of those killed were children whose ages ranged from six to 15,” including eight girls, it said, adding it was unclear whether the air strikes were carried out by Afghan or NATO forces.

The latest civilian deaths were reported after UNAMA said it had “credible” reports of nine members of a family killed in an air raid at the home of a teacher in Tagab district in the Kapisa province on Saturday.

Afghan defence ministry spokesperson Ghafor Ahmad Jawed said the operation in Maidan Wardak freed eight Afghan soldiers allegedly abducted by the Taliban and killed 11 fighters.

He said the ministry is investigating both the incidents.

There was no immediate comment from Afghan officials on the reported air strike in Kapisa province.