Friendly fire may have killed US troops in Afghanistan

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, April 29 (IANS) Two US soldiers who died this week during an operation targeting Islamic State (IS) militants in Afghanistan may have been killed by friendly fire, the Department of Defence said.

The department on Friday identified the victims as US Army Sgts. Joshua Rodgers, 22, and Cameron Thomas, 23, Efe news reported.

"We are investigating the circumstances of the combat deaths of the two Army Rangers in the beginning of what was an intense three-hour firefight," Pentagon spokesman, Captain Jeff Davis, told the media.

"It is possible these Rangers were struck by friendly fire," he said.

Rodgers and Thomas were killed late Wednesday in Nangarhar province.

A third US soldier was injured during the operation to provide support to Afghan troops fighting an IS faction that US officials call IS-Khorasan, based on the jihadis' name for that region of Afghanistan, the Defence Department said.

Abdul Hasib, the IS commander in Afghanistan, was the objective of the joint US-Afghan military strike, Davis said.

Preliminary reports indicate that Hasib and more than 35 other IS combatants were killed, according to the Pentagon.