Islamic State militants claim capture of U.S. weapons in Afghanistan

by JOSH SMITH | Reuters  |  published on August 7, 2016

Militants linked to Islamic State have released photos that purport to show weapons and equipment that belonged to American soldiers and were captured by the group in eastern Afghanistan.

The photos, which came to light on Saturday, show an American portable rocket launcher, radio, grenades and other gear not commonly used by Afghan troops, as well as close up views of identification cards for a U.S. Army soldier, Specialist Ryan Larson.

The U.S. military command in Kabul denied any suggestion the soldier had been captured, saying he “has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit.”

American special operations troops have been fighting alongside Afghan forces in a renewed offensive against militants who claim allegiance to Islamic State in Nangarhar Province, which borders Pakistan.

“SPC Larson was attached to a unit conducting a partnered (operation) with Afghan Forces,” U.S. military spokesman Commander Ron Flesvig said in an emailed statement on Sunday. “The soldier’s I.D. and some of the equipment were left behind after the (operation). The loss of personal identification is unfortunate.”

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