US soldier killed in battle with IS in Afghanistan

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. military says an American soldier was killed and several others wounded in a battle with Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan.

The military said in a statement that several Afghan forces were also wounded in the fighting on Wednesday in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province, a militant stronghold. It did not specify how many forces were wounded.

Islamic State militants have gained a foothold in recent years in Afghanistan, where they have battled U.S.-backed government forces as well as the more established Taliban.

The IS affiliate largely consists of disgruntled former Taliban insurgents, and has clashed with the larger group over leadership and ideology.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber killed three civilians while trying to attack an Afghan army base in the southern Helmand province late Wednesday.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attacker and three other militants approached the base before guards opened fire on them, killing the three who were on foot. Three soldiers were wounded in the blast.

In the southern Kandahar province, Taliban fighters stormed police checkpoints in two districts late Wednesday, killing seven police and wounding nine others, according to Zia Durani, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said 19 Taliban were killed in the ensuing clashes.