KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. and Afghan forces came under attack in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, a U.S. official in Kabul said.

Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said a combined U.S. and Afghan force conducting an operation in Nangarhar province was engaged by direct fire.

“We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available,” he said.

A senior Afghan defense official said it was not clear whether the incident was a result of clashes between Afghan and foreign forces or whether hardline Islamist militants were responsible for the attack.

Taliban sources were not immediately available to comment.

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in Nangarhar, said clashes happened between the Afghan army and foreign forces in Shirzad district on Saturday afternoon.

He said members of the Afghan forces had been operating in the area since last month, and foreign forces were also present in the district to defend it from Taliban attacks.

“It seems that clashes happened between Afghan and foreign forces during a raid or maybe there was a tactical mistake,” said Qaderi, adding that there was no information about casualties.

Reporting by Abdul Qadir Sediqi in Kabul; Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio