WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says the two Army Rangers killed during a raid on an Islamic State compound in Afghanistan may have died as a result of friendly fire.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis says the U.S. military is investigating to see if they were accidentally killed by ground fire from Afghan commandos or other American forces. He says it does not appear deliberate.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon identified the two soldiers who were killed Wednesday as in Nangahar Province as Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois, and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio. Both soldiers were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia.


Davis said the head of the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan was the target of the raid. Officials suspect he was killed but haven’t confirmed that. About 35 other enemy fighters were killed.

Davis said 50 Army Rangers and 40 Afghan commandos took part in the assault on the compound and faced a fierce, three-hour firefight. The two Rangers were killed in the initial minutes of the fight.