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U.S. Says Abandoned Weapons Seized By IS In Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers helping Afghan troops fight the Islamic State extremist group in Afghanistan were forced to abandon equipment and weapons when their position came under fire, the U.S. military said on August 9.

IS fighters have circulated photographs of a rocket launcher, grenades, ammunition, identification cards, an encrypted radio, and other equipment they seized.

U.S. military spokesman General Charles Cleveland said the loss happened during fighting in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan in July during which five Special Forces soldiers were wounded. But he denied that any American positions were overrun.

Cleveland said a location set up to deal with casualties -- a routine step in any operation -- came under enemy fire and the soldiers moved to a safer position.

"In the course of moving...some equipment was left behind," he said.

Despite the sensitive nature of some items, Cleveland said there would be no "measurable impact" from the loss.

"For understandable reasons, the lives of soldiers were not put at risk to recover the equipment," he said.

U.S. troops have been taking a more active role against IS since President Barack Obama authorized more military support for the Afghan government.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP