The Taliban has claimed that five or six US soldiers have been killed after exchanging fire in Afghanistan.
US and Afghan troops were fired on while conducting an operation in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, the US military today confirmed.
US military spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said there were multiple casualties, but could not confirm numbers.
The Taliban's claims have not yet been verified.
Insider attacks, often known as “green-on-blue” attacks, have been a regular feature of the conflict in Afghanistan, although their frequency has diminished in recent years.
A senior Afghan defence official said it was not clear whether the incident was a result of clashes between Afghan and foreign forces or whether hardline Islamist militants were responsible.
“We are not ruling any possibility out but we are not calling it an insider attack, Taliban attack, or ‘green-on-blue’ at this stage,” the anonymous official told Reuters.
Local residents reported military helicopters flying over the area.
In Sherzad district, where the shootout took place, the joint operation had pushed the Taliban from around the main highway and was continuing to clear villages.
U.S. diplomats have been in talks with the Taliban for months to agree a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign forces in exchange for security guarantees.
American special forces soldiers are in Nangarhar to help the Afghan government clear the area of insurgent forces.
In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Donald Trump referenced the peace talks, saying US soldiers were not meant to serve as “law enforcement agencies” for other nations.
“In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our war fighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are now under way”, he added.
However, violence in the country has not diminished.
On December, 23 Afghan soldiers were killed when a Taliban infiltrator opened fire on his colleagues at a base in Ghazni Province in eastern Afghanistan.
Last month, a US military jet crashed in eastern Afghanistan over Taliban territory – with the terrorists again claiming responsibility.
The aircraft crashed in Deh Yak district, Ghazni province.
Taliban social media accounts afterwards posted unverified footage showing a burnt-out plane with US Air Force markings.
The video shows a Bombardier E-11A - the type of jet used by the US Air Force for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.