An Afghan official says a Taliban rocket killed seven people after security forces launched an operation against the militant group in southern Ghazni province.

Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said early Friday that the rocket hit a house, killing six children and a man. Three others children were wounded, he said.

Noori says Afghan security forces launched the operation south of the capital Ghazni and during the battle the children went into a shelter in the house for safety. But a Taliban rocket killed the six children and man anyway.

Zabihullah Mujahidand, Taliban apokesman, denied the account and accused the government of killing the civilians in an airstrike.

Noori says the Afghan air force killed 20 Taliban fighters but no civilians.