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Five U.S. Soldiers Wounded In Joint Operation With Afghan Troops Against IS

The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan has said that five U.S. soldiers were injured in a battle against militants in eastern Afghanistan who call themselves Islamic State (IS).

U.S. Army General John Nicholson said the U.S. troops were injured during a mission with Afghan special forces against IS militants in Nangarhar Province.

Nicholson said two of the U.S. soldiers had returned to duty and the other three were evacuated but were "in good spirits."

President Barack Obama in June reversed a policy that prohibited U.S. forces from engaging in military operations against militants in Afghanistan except in exceptional situations.

U.S. forces are now allowed to use air strikes and other military assets against Taliban fighters and other militants if it is in support of Afghan government security forces.

IS militants have seized territory and built up strongholds in parts of Nangarhar Province since Taliban commanders in the area splintered into rival factions -- with some declaring loyalty to IS and fighting against Afghan Taliban as well as Afghan government troops.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa