KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. airstrikes authorized after two American soldiers were wounded in southern Helmand province’s hotly contested Sangin district on Thursday may have killed as many as 25 civilians, officials said.
The U.S. troops were injured while supporting Afghan forces, who have been battling the Taliban in the district for weeks. The militants see Sangin as a stepping stone to encircling and eventually capturing Helmand’s capital, Laskhar Gah.
One of the American soldiers suffered a gunshot wound and was flown out of the country for treatment. The other suffered minor shrapnel wounds and returned to duty, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said Saturday.
Cleveland said the airstrikes were called in after the troops were injured.