Two US soldiers and at least 30 Afghan civilians were killed during a firefight while working to drive Taliban militants from the city of Kunduz.
US and Afghan special forces were ambushed during a raid in Kunduz, and at least six soldiers and 30 civilians, in addition to more than 20 Taliban, were killed by airstrikes called in to assist in the operation, according to the Pentagon.
The raid was part of US Special Forces working with Afghan soldiers to clear the Kunduz province, possession of which has passed into and out of Taliban control in recent months.
“Despite today’s tragic event, we are steadfast in our commitment to help our Afghan partners defend their nation,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top US military commander in Afghanistan.
During the mission to train, advise and assist Afghan partners of the US military, US and Afghan forces were ambushed by militants and snipers, leading US troops to call in air support.
Two US soldiers were killed during the ambush and two others were injured, in addition to four members of Afghan special forces killed and six injured, and 26 Taliban insurgents killed and 10 wounded. At least 30 civilians were also killed as a result of the firefight and airstrike.
The US military did not comment on or confirm estimates of civilian casualties or the description of what happened, most of which came from Afghan soldiers on the ground.
“The entire event, both the death of US service members and the civilian casualty allegations, are now under investigation,” said US Army Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, a Kabul-based spokesman for the coalition.