US soldiers tried to block the entrance of a maternity hospital after gun fight but witnesses said four of commander Asmat Allah’s bodyguards were killed along with two soldiers from Jalalabad’s militia force.

Asmat Allah commands pro-government forces in the neighbouring province of Laghman.

A Reuters reporter later saw five bodies, three of them in military uniforms and the other two in civilian clothes, on the floor of a nearby hospital where another Afghan fighter was being treated for his wounds.

Indian consulate targeted

Minutes after the clash, an explosion detonated outside the Indian consulate near the hospital, said residents. There were no casualties or damage.

Local police officials said earlier there had been casualties among Asmat Allah’s bodyguards. They had no information on whether US soldiers were hurt.

US soldiers in Jalalabad refused to give details about the incident and there was no immediate comment from the American military headquarters at Bagram air base. 

Some 11,500-US led forces are based in Afghanistan as they try to uproot remnants of the former Taliban government overthrown in 2001.