Report: Afghan civilians killed as US troops open fire after roadside bomb attack

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, June 12 (Reuters) - As many as three Afghan civilians were killed on Monday when American troops opened fire after their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, an official in Nangarhar province said.

A man and his two sons were killed at their home in Ghani Khel, a district in the south of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

"After the bomb blast hit them, the American forces then started shooting and killed one man and two children nearby," he said.

The U.S. military command in Kabul said a convoy of American and Afghan troops was struck by a roadside bomb and attacked by gunmen.

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Deadly blast in Afghanistan
Injured Afghan men arrive at a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan injured arrive at a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
An injured Afghan man arrives at a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
An Afghan man carries an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
An injured man is helped after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
An injured man arrives at a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Men move an injured man to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
 An injured man arrives to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
A woman sits outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Injured men arrive to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Smoke rises from the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hamid Sayedi 
An Afghan man reacts at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Damaged cars are seen at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Burned vehicles are seen after a blast at the site of the incident in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan policemen inspect at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan women mourn outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan men carry an injured man after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces carry injured men in the back of police car near the site a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani 
Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
An Afghan policeman past walked next to a damaged vehicle after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan officials inspect outside the German embassy after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Relatives of victims listen to hospital officials after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Relatives of Afghan victims mourn outside a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
An Injured Afghan man walks on the street near a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
 Injured Afghans run from the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
 A wounded man lies on the ground at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
An injured woman arrives to a hospital after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan May 31, 2017.REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail 
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"The convoy returned fire in self-defense and there were no U.S. casualties," the command said in a statement.

There had been no official report of civilian casualties filed, but the military was investigating the incident, the U.S. military said in a statement.

"We take civilian casualties very seriously and all allegations are thoroughly investigated," it said.

Civilian casualties have run at near record highs as fighting spreads to more areas of Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani generally has been less vocal than his predecessor, Hamid Karzai, in publicly criticizing the U.S. military when troops are involved in incidents where civilians are killed.

On Saturday, three American soldiers were killed and one wounded when an Afghan soldier opened fire on them in Nangarhar, where elite U.S. troops have been helping Afghan forces battle Islamic State militants.

Also over the weekend, an American air strike in southern Afghanistan killed at least three Afghan policemen and wounded several during a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. special forces.

SEE ALSO: US ranking drops to 114 on 2017 Global Peace Index

U.S. and Afghan troops have been battling militants in Nangarhar province for months.

Islamic State, or Daesh as it is known in Afghanistan, has established a stronghold in the region, which borders Pakistan. U.S. military officials estimate there are about 600 to 800 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar, but also in the neighboring province of Kunar.

The increase in involvement by U.S troops and warplanes comes as U.S. President Donald Trump's administration weighs whether to deploy more troops in the war-torn country.

Reuters reported in late April that the U.S. administration was carrying out a review of Afghanistan and there were conversations over whether to send between 3,000 and 5,000 U.S. and coalition troops to Afghanistan.

Deliberations include giving more authority to forces on the ground and taking more aggressive action against Taliban fighters. This could allow U.S. advisers to work with Afghan troops below the corps level, potentially putting them closer to fighting, a U.S. official said. (Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel)

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The past 15 years at war in Afghanistan
The United States and Britain on October 7, 2001 launched a first wave of air strikes against Afghanistan and President George W. Bush said the action heralded a "sustained, comprehensive and relentless" campaign against terrorism. Eyewitnesses said they saw flashes and heard explosions over the Afghan capital of Kabul in the first phase of what the United States has said will be a protracted and wide-ranging war against terrorism and the states that support it. The attack had been prepared since the September 11 suicide attacks on the United States that killed around 5,600 people. A U.S. Air force B-52 bomber drops a load of M117 750-pound bombs over a bombing range in the United States in this undated file photo.B-52s, B-1 and B-2 stealth bombers are some of the aircraft that were reportedly used in the attacks on Afghanistan. REUTERS/USAF-Handout KM/HB
Two Northern Alliance soldiers watch as the dust and smoke rises after explosions in Taliban positions on Kalakata hill, near the village of Ai-Khanum in northern Afghanistan, November 1, 2001. The Pentagon said on Wednesday B-52s dropped heavy loads of bombs, a tactic known as carpet bombing, on Taliban troops north of Kabul as a result of improved tergeting intelligence, partly from U.S. special forces on the ground. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko VF/CRB
U.S. Marine PV2 Eileen M. Schnetzko stands on guard at Bagram airport, March 2, 2002. U.S. troops are based at Bagram, north of Kabul. There are some 4,000 U.S. troops based in Afghanistan as part of the international war against terrorism. REUTERS/Mario Laporta REUTERS ML
A U.S. special forces soldier (L) watches while Afghan militia wait in line to turn in their weapons at a military base in Kunduz, Afghanistan October 22, 2003. A long-awaited U.N.-sponsored project to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate 100,000 soldiers across Afghanistan was under way in the north, a key step to bringing eventual peace to this war-torn country. The "New Beginnings Programme," which lets soldiers exchange their weapons for jobs, began in the northern province of Kunduz this week. REUTERS/Richard Vogel/Pool RV KAJ/FA
A Chinook helicopter hovers over U.S. troops in the village of Jegdelic, about 90 km (56 miles) southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan, in this picture taken on December 24, 2004. A U.S. military helicopter carrying up to 20 American troops crashed during an anti-guerrilla mission in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, U.S. officials said. The fate of those on board was not immediately known. Picture taken December 24, 2004. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood Am/mk BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
An Afghan boy looks at U.S. soldiers as they patrol a village near the town of Makkor, southwest of Kabul April 20, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (AFGHANISTAN)
A U.S. soldier works with a shovel as a vehicle is stuck in mud, some 70km south of Ghazni, southeastern Afghanistan April 23, 2007. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (AFGHANISTAN)
British and a U.S. soldiers control the crowd during medical assistance in Kabul February 26, 2008. U.S. and British troops provided medical assistance worth of $50,000 to the Afghan locals in Kabul on Tuesday. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood (AFGHANISTAN)
Sgt. William Olas Bee, a U.S. Marine from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has a close call after Taliban fighters opened fire near Garmsir in Helmand Province of Afghanistan, May 18, 2008. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic (AFGHANISTAN)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (L) and U.S. Army General David McKiernan, the top U.S. and NATO Commander in Afghanistan (R) listen to Afghan governors and local officials during their visit to Forward Operating Base Airborne in the mountains of Wardak Province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2009. Gates on May 11, 2009 replaced the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Army General David McKiernan, less than a year after he took over the war effort there. Gates said he asked for McKiernan's resignation and recommended Army Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of special operations forces, to take over command of 45,000 U.S. troops and about 32,000 other troops from non-U.S. NATO countries. REUTERS/Jason Reed (AFGHANISTAN MILITARY POLITICS)
U.S. soldiers of the 2-12 Infantry, 4th Brigade prepare to tow a broken-down improvised explosive device (IED) detecting Huskie vehicle during a patrol in the Pesh Valley in Afghanistan's Kunar Province July 30, 2009. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne (AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT)
U.S. soldiers kneel during a memorial ceremony for Captain Daniel Whitten and Private First Class Zachary Lovejoy from Charlie Company, 4th Brigade combat team,1-508, 82nd Parachute Infantry Regiment at the Remote Sweeney FOB in Zabul province, southern Afghanistan, February 8, 2010. CPT Whitten from Grimes, Iowa, and PFC Lovejoy from Albuquerque, New Mexico, were killed by an IED on February 2. when on patrol in southern Afghanistan. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY)
Canadian soldiers play table football under flashlights at a military outpost near the village of Bazaar e Panjwaii, in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province August 8, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CONFLICT MILITARY)
U.S. Army medic Staff Sergeant Rahkeem Francis with Charlie Company, 6-101 Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, treats an Afghan boy with a broken leg onboard a medevac helicopter near the town of Marjah in Helmand Province, August 19, 2010. REUTERS/Bob Strong (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CONFLICT MILITARY POLITICS)
U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CONFLICT MILITARY IMAGES OF THE DAY POLITICS)
An Afghan shepherd walks with a flock of sheep past a U.S. Marines armored vehicle of the Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines outside the Camp Gorgak in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan July 5, 2011. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANIMALS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
First Sergeant Mac Miller from Comanche Troop 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry lift weights as he exercises in Forward Operating Base Connolly in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan, March 3, 2012. Picture taken March 3, 2012. REUTERS/Erik De Castro (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY CONFLICT)
A U.S. Army soldier and a member of the Afghan Uniform Police arm wrestle prior to a joint patrol near Command Outpost AJK (short for Azim-Jan-Kariz, a near-by village) in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Burton (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A U.S. service member takes a "selfie" as U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with troops after delivering remarks at Bagram Air Base in Kabul, May 25, 2014. Obama, on a visit to Afghanistan, said on Sunday his administration would likely announce soon how many troops the United States will keep in the country, as it winds down its presence after nearly 13 years of war. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)
Afghan children gesture at U.S. soldiers from Grim Company of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment as they stand guard near an Afghan police checkpoint during a mission near Forward Operating Base Fenty in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan December 19, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)
U.S. soldiers attend to a wounded soldier at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan June 30, 2015. At least 17 people were wounded in a suicide bomb attack on NATO troops as their truck convoy passed down the main road running between Kabul's airport and the U.S. embassy, police and health ministry officials said. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A U.S. soldier keeps watch at the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan January 4, 2016. A large explosion struck close to Kabul airport on Monday, causing at least 10 casualties near to the area where a suicide bomber blew himself up earlier in the day in the latest in a series of attacks in the Afghan capital over the past week. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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