An Afghan official says a NATO airstrike on two fuel tankers hijacked by Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan has killed 90 people, including 40 civilians.

Police Chief Gulam Mohyuddin says militants seized the two trucks around midnight near the village of Omar Khel in Kunduz province. He says the alliance launched an airstrike when Taliban fighters stopped the trucks at a river crossing.

One police official estimated that 90 people were killed, and that 40 were civilians. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity over the issue of civilian deaths in the Afghan conflict.

The Kunduz Governor Mohammad Omar also said that 90 people were dead - but did not give a breakdown.

The NATO confirmed that there was an airstrike in Kunduz overnight but gave no details.

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