KABUL, Afghanistan — An official says 14 civilians were killed in an explosion in northern Afghanistan although it isn't immediately clear whether the deaths were caused by a ground assault or an airstrike.

Nematullah Temory, the provincial governor's spokesman, said the explosion occurred Thursday in the Charhar Dara district of Kunduz and women and children were among the dead.

The Taliban in a statement to news outlets said 27 people were killed in the area on Thursday and spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blamed the dead on U.S. airstrikes.

The U.S. did carry out airstrikes in the area "in support of Afghan-led ground operations," according to NATO spokesman Lt. Colonel Martin O'Donnell.

"On-the-ground assessment of those strikes reveals no indications they caused civilian casualties," he said in an e-mail.