Report: Stranded G.I. Located

US soldier with US Flag over a map of Afghanistan.
A second member of a missing elite U.S. military team has been located in the rugged mountains near the Pakistan border and Afghan forces were trying to reach the remote area where he had taken shelter, a provincial governor said Monday.

The comments came a day after the announcement that one of the American servicemen who disappeared last week had been rescued. A U.S. military spokesman said only that American forces were still searching the area.

Kunar Gov. Asadullah Wafa also said a U.S. airstrike last week in the region killed 17 civilians. The American military confirmed civilians died but said the attack was targeting a known terrorist compound.

Citing Afghan intelligence sources, Wafa said the second U.S. service member was believed to be wounded and had taken shelter in a house in a remote part of the region.

"He is in a civilian's house. He is injured," he said. "Afghan soldiers and police are trying to reach the area to rescue him."

U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara declined to comment on the governor's comments, except to say "we hold every hope for those who are still missing."

He said American forces were still in the area searching for the missing men.

The small special operations unit was reported missing last Tuesday in mountains in Kunar province, near the border with Pakistan. A rescue effort the same day ended in tragedy when a transport helicopter seeking to extract the team was shot down, killing 16 troops aboard. It was the deadliest single blow yet to American forces who ousted the Taliban in 2001.

The bombing that killed civilians also was in Kunar and occurred last Friday.

"Seventeen civilians were killed during the bombing, including women and children," Wafa said. He did not say whether any militants also were believed to be in the compound.

The military confirmed that civilians were killed but didn't give a number.

The attack was "with precision-guided munitions that resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of enemy terrorists and noncombatants," the military said in a statement.

"The targeted compound was a known operating base for terrorist attacks in Kunar province as well as a base for a medium-level terrorist leader," it said. "Battle damage assessment is currently ongoing."

The statement added that U.S. forces "regret the loss of innocent lives and follow stringent rules of engagement specifically to ensure that noncombatants are safeguarded. However, when enemy forces move their families into the locations where they conduct terrorist operations, they put these innocent civilians at risk."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for